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Carberry joins in with her brother.

Nina Carberry completed a memorable family double by winning the Sporting Index Handicap Chase on Heads Onthe Ground at Cheltenham.

Just 90 minutes after her brother Philip had partnered Sublimity to victory in the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle, she showed her own prowess in the saddle by coming out on top in the marathon over the cross-country course.

Shuffled back at the top of the hill a mile from home, Carberry rousted Heads Onthe Ground, trained by Enda Bolger, back into contention and sneaked up on the inside to take the lead on the turn for home.

Jumping the last in front, the 5-2 favourite kept on gamely up the hill to beat Silver Birch by three and a half lengths, with Le Duc another 12 lengths away in third place.

Back in fourth was the winner's stablemate, six-times course winner Spot Thedifference.

The 14-year-old, who was giving the weight 24lb to the winner, stayed on well to take fourth, another five lengths back, after a mistake at the Bank fence ruined his chance.

"I love these cross-country races. It's just like being at home," said Carberry, who was winning for the second time at the Festival after Dabiroun two years ago in the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices' Handicap Hurdle.

The Pipe team picked up a pounds 75,000 bonus when Gaspara followed up her win in Saturday's Imperial Cup at Sandown with a smooth victory in the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices' Handicap Hurdle.

The 9-2 joint-favourite made virtually all the running in the hands of 5lb claimer Andrew Glassonbury. Nothing could get in a serious challenge.

It was former trainer Martin Pipe's first winner as an owner at the Festival and his son David's first since he took over the reins at Nicholashayne.

Joes Edge got up in the shadow of post to win a thrilling William Hill Trophy Handicap Chase.

Ferdy Murphy's runner looked likely to have to settle for third place as Distant Thunder led Juveigneur over the last, but Davy Russell conjured a late charge out of the 50-1 outsider to land the spoils by a short head.

Murphy hopes Joes Edge makes the cut for the John Smith's Grand National, for which he was cut to 20-1 from 40-1 with Ladbrokes.

KEITH HAMER
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 14, 2007
Words:378
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