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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Critic and Seabass impressHeadlines
Dermot Weld

Rock Critic was an impressive winner of the Racegoer's 25 Euros Package Hurdle at Fairyhouse as last year's John Smith's Grand National third Seabass made a fine return to action in second place.

The Willie Mullins-trained Make Your Mark was the 4-6 market leader for his seasonal reappearance on the strength of some smart novice form last term, with Dermot Weld's Rock Critic next best at 9-4 after winning on his hurdling bow at last year's Galway Festival.

The two disputed the running, but it was clear before the home turn that Robbie McNamara was travelling far better and Rock Critic eased clear once straightened up for home, safely negotiating the last couple of obstacles to seal victory by three and a quarter lengths to make it two from two over timber.

Ted Walsh's Seabass ran a tremendous race on his first appearance since his superb Aintree performance last spring.

The 10-year-old was predictably outpaced over this two-mile trip, but stayed on strongly in the straight to grab the runner-up spot from a rather disappointing Make Your Mark.

Rock Critic was cut to 12-1 by Stan James for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, but Weld warned he was not a certain starter at Cheltenham.

The trainer said: "He did what I thought he would do. He knows his job and he jumps well. He would much prefer better ground.

"We've no definite plan - we'll speak to the owners. He's entered in Cheltenham but at the moment I see him as a Punchestown/Fairyhouse horse.

"We didn't plan to get there so soon, but his jumping took him there - he jumped like a stag."

22 February 2017

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Luckless Jonathan Burke suffers further injury blow
Limini leaves Apple's Jade toiling at Punchestown
Nicky Henderson says Noel Fehily still in Buveur D'Air frame for Champion Hurdle
Micky Hammond targets Naas prize with Just Cameron
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Nicky Richards still considering National Hunt Chase challenge for Baywing
Epsom announces Friday switch for Coronation Cup
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Evan Williams mulling Albert Bartlett option for De Dollar Man
Robert Havlin 'deeply upset and shocked' at six-month France Galop riding ban
Jerrysback looks smart in extending unbeaten record at Wetherby
Colin Tizzard hoping to have Thistlecrack back at Christmas after tendon shock
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21 February 2017

Gold Cup shock as Cheltenham favourite Thistlecrack ruled out for the season
Evan Williams keen to tackle Adonis date with Evening Hush
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Paul Moloney to see specialist again as he continues shoulder injury recovery
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Sceau Royal and Footpad both set for Champion date for Munir and Souede
Terry Doherty picks up top prize at Stud and Stable Staff Awards
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20 February 2017

Carlisle double delight for in-form Nigel Hawke
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Jockey Club prize-money boost for smaller tracks
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Regal Encore in Midlands National frame
Place gets home to complete five-timer in Boyne Hurdle
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19 February 2017

Acapella hits all the right notes in Ten Up
Place gets home to complete five-timer in Boyne Hurdle
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Josses Hill heading straight to the Festival
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Worlds End enters Cheltenham equation after Haydock triumph
Tombstone floors Jezki in Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran Park
Zarkandar back in front as Nicholls dominates Rendlesham
Bigbadjohn battles for Reynoldstown triumph
Beyond Conceit secures Cheltenham spot with Ascot success

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