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Killarney: Rock books Galway ticket.

Summer jumping in Ireland centres on the Galway Festival at the end of July and it was no surprise to find that at least two of last night's winners at Killarney are being aimed at that meeting, writes Tony O'Hehir.

After Leopard Rock had scored by three and a half lengths in the first division of the 2m 1f maiden hurdle, the five-year-old's trainer Tony Mullins said: "A winner's hurdle at Galway is the target and he will probably have one more run before then.

"It took us a while to realise he isn't a winter-ground horse and the fast conditions today really suited him. He could be very useful," added Mullins of the full-brother to his versatile money-spinner The Bongo Man.

Charlie Swan brought Leopard Rock through to lead at the last and Mullins' charge recovered quickly from a mistake to win comfortably from Bob What, who also made a mistake at the final flight.

Galway also beckons for Moscow Retreat, who took the 2m 1f beginners chase under Paul Carberry.

Moscow Retreat was left in second place when the well-supported Beacon Lane fell five fences from home, and the Michael Hourigan-trained seven-year-old jumped to the front at the final fence to score by two lengths from Kilfane.

Hourigan said: "Moscow Retreat will be going out in the field in the morning and will have a month off. He will come back at the end of June and be trained for the Galway and Tralee Festivals. When the ground goes soft we'll put him away and bring him back for a spring campaign."

Courageous, ridden by champion-elect Barry Geraghty, took the second division of the maiden hurdle for trainer Jessica Harrington, leading after two out to win eased down by two lengths from Patsy Veale.

Mrs Harrington said: "We've been waiting for fast ground for this horse. He got a stone bruise about a month ago and I was a bit worried that he might not be 100 per cent fit. But the decision to run here has paid off."

Trainer Pat Flynn's recent resurgence continued when Queen Of Fibres scored a short-head win in the one-mile-three-furlong handicap. After the Declan McDonogh-ridden mare had held the late run of Final Reminder, Flynn said: "Queen of Fibres showed a lot of promise early on in her career but it's taken time for her to come right."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:O'Hehir, Tony
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 16, 2000
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