Joy for Joe Murphy as Swamp Fox wins Naas November Handicap

Sun 5 Nov 2017

Swamp Fox signed off the Irish Flat season with a trademark show of strength which led to him winning the Naas November Handicap.

The likeable five-year-old gamely defied top weight under Gary Carroll to gain a richly-deserved big-race victory at odds of 6-1.

Swamp Fox led a furlong from home and stayed on well to hold off the challenge of Highland Fling by a short head.

The versatile dual-purpose performer is now likely to head back over hurdles this winter.

Winning trainer Joe Murphy said: "Gary said that when he hit the front he just stopped and there was plenty of horse under him - that's just the type of horse he is.

"He's a very nice horse to have and is in the Morgiana Hurdle (Punchestown) and the Fighting Fifth (Newcastle). There is a week between the two races and he will go for one of them.

"He always runs very genuine, and is a tough, consistent horse. I'd say there is a lot more in him."

New Irish champion jockey Colin Keane notched a century of winners with a brace.

Inscribe (11-8 favourite) set the ball rolling with a neck defeat of Lucky Mistake in the Kildare Post Handicap.

Trainer Ger Lyons said: "This horse was put away in case we needed him for Colin.

"We didn't need him and debated whether we would run or save him for the (Irish) Lincoln. His first race next year will probably be the Lincoln."

Keane became a centurion when the Matthew Smith-trained Warnaq (7-4 favourite) won the mile-and-a-half maiden by three lengths.

Smith said: "She did it well. She probably got there too well and a bit too soon but is a lovely, straightforward filly who is improving with every run.

"She stays well and the step up in trip helped her."

The concluding race of the Irish Flat season, the Listed Finale Stakes over a mile and a half, was claimed in good style by 7-4 favourite Tocco D'Amore, who is now unbeaten in two career starts.

Trainer Dermot Weld said: "It's a very pleasing performance by her. She is a very valuable filly and I look forward to winning Group races with her next year.

"She would always appreciate an ease in the ground and would not want it firm. She is a smart filly.

"She had a setback fairly soon after her previous run and was off all through the summer. We just waited and patience paid dividends."

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