Racing: Landmark win for Dobbin and O'Neill

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The Independent Online

Jonjo O'Neill landed his first winner at the Punchestown Festival yesterday when Quazar took the Grade One Champion Four-Year-Old Hurdle. Tony Dobbin, having his first ride at the track, escaped from a pocket on the rails to hold the challenge of Newhall, who had finished third to Dobbin's mount at Aintree.

O'Neill, who had bought the son of Inzar as a juvenile at the breeze-up sales for just 8,000 guineas, said: "I remember meeting Tony here 15 years ago when he came looking for a job from me. He joined us then and made a name for himself and it's great that Quazar has given us both our first successes at this great Festival."

The odds-on favourites Moscow Flyer and Limestone Lad made no mistake in the other Grade One events to continue the rich form of their riders, Barry Geraghty and Paul Carberry. The 13-year-old Risk Of Thunder, in the colours of Sean Connery, made a triumphant farewell to the scene of 12 of his 13 victories. He held on by a neck to land the La Touche Cup for the seventh time. The exertions took their toll on the 9-4 favourite to such an extent that he had to be taken to the stable yard immediately to get oxygen.

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