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Carberry draws blank on return

Fri, 31 August 2012

Grand National-winning rider Paul Carberry was out of luck on his eagerly anticipated return to action at Down Royal.

One of Irish racing's biggest names, he was ruled out of the Galway Festival when he suffered a fracture to his left shoulder blade in a fall at Killarney during the middle of July, but was back in the saddle with six rides in Northern Ireland.

The nearest he came to a victory was on his final ride of the evening, when Raajih finished third.

Carberry rode leading fancy Smithfield for boss Noel Meade in the opening Dale Farm Maiden Hurdle, but the 5-1 chance failed to land a serious blow, finishing fifth behind Sizing Machine after being prominent throughout.

He then partnered hot favourite Queen Of The Hill in the Premier Bakeries Ireland Mares Maiden Hurdle for Tom Cooper, but she proved a bitter disappointment, finishing well back as 7-1 shot Ms Bliss claimed victory.

Ms Bliss represents the Dot Love team that has done so well with Shadow Elie, and assistant trainer Ciaran Murphy said: "We only got her after Galway and a lot of credit has to go to the owner's daughter Helena Keaveney.

"She is a lovely mare and she will have a run on the Flat now and then go for a winners hurdle. She's a good horse and she will go for the same mares races that Shadow Eile went for."

Carberry was again out of the frame in the Procter & Gamble Maiden Hurdle as the Cooper-trained Kerryhead Storm raced in mid-division before staying on at the one pace to be fifth, the same position Meade's Protaras occupied in the Tayto Group Hurdle.

Hopes for better on Formal Bid in the McCormack Potato Handicap Hurdle were dashed as Gordon Elliott's five-year-old was a faller when towards the rear of the field. Happily both horse and rider were quickly on their feet.

Carberry went closest on his last ride as he worked the Elliott-trained Raajih into contention in the Allied Bakeries Handicap Hurdle, but could not quite get on terms after the last and had to settle for a close third.