Racing: Moore treble a pointer to Native Jack at Fairyhouse

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The Independent Online

Arthur Moore, who saddles three runners in today's Irish Grand National, confirmed his stable is in flying form with a treble at Fairyhouse yesterday.

Arthur Moore, who saddles three runners in today's Irish Grand National, confirmed his stable is in flying form with a treble at Fairyhouse yesterday.

The veteran Co Kildare trainer is represented in today's marathon back at the same track with the strongly-fancied Native Jack, the mount of his stable jockey Conor O'Dwyer.

Native Jack won by 13 lengths at Cork four weeks ago and is pursuing a hat-trick this afternoon. Moore also runs the highly consistent Munster, as well as another outsider, Marcus Du Berlais.

Yesterday, he struck first in the Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase - named after his father - with the 11-year-old Fadoudal Du Cochet. O'Dwyer sent the 12-1 shot to the front five fences from home and then had to fight off several challengers before proving a length too good for Colca Canyon, the 3-1 favourite trained by Jessica Harrington.

Fadoudal Du Cochet fell after making an uncharacteristic blunder at the Cheltenham Festival last month and Moore said: "He was going well and looked like he would have been in the money when falling at Cheltenham.

"He's an 11-year-old now so it was lovely to see him win again, and that's the end of it for him now, but he'll be back again next season," the trainer added.

Moore also went into the winner's enclosure in later races with Farinel, a 4-1 chance partnered by Barry Cash, and with Jaquouille, another winner for O'Dwyer, this time at 3-1.

At Plumpton yesterday, Tony McCoy reached the 200- winner mark in a season for the fifth time. The champion jockey did not have to be at his strongest to reach the milestone when enjoying a comfortable success on the Martin Pipe-trained Tucacas in a novices' chase. McCoy sent the grey mare to the front with a circuit left to travel and they were never in danger thereafter, the 2-5 favourite coming home to score hard held by nine lengths from L'Etang Bleu.

The Irishman had moved on to 199 with a treble at Newton Abbot on Saturday. McCoy has reached 200 in the past in 1997-98, 1999-2000, 2001-2 and last season.

His oft-expressed aim is to make it to 300 one season, having ridden 289 winners in 2001-2002, and he insisted yesterday that "300 is not impossible". His chance disappeared this campaign when he missed two months with a broken arm sustained at Worcester last June, and he then suffered facial injuries at yesterday's Sussex venue in February, which ruled him out for another eight days.

The eight-times champion, with his ninth title already in the bag, said: "It hasn't been easy this time, with about three and a half months off through injury and two bans. The arm and cheek injuries set me back a bit and it has been harder. But the will for winners is always there for me."

Frankie Dettori was determined to keep his name to the fore, too, when visiting Musselburgh for the first time since 1993, delighting a modern-day record crowd with a victory on Finders Keepers.

The Italian's presence helped swell the attendance to 6,600, plus about 2,000 children, and he left the weighing-room 20 minutes before the first race to allow himself plenty of time to sign autographs on his way to the parade ring.

Finders Keepers made virtually all the running in the seven-furlong maiden stakes. Dettori then performed a flying dismount from the Ed Dunlop-trained three-year-old, much to the delight of those packing around the winner's enclosure.

He said: "It's unbelievable. The roar of the crowd started after we turned into the straight and it was so loud in the last two furlongs, I thought it was the Derby at Epsom! The last time I was here I won on Alllegsnobrain, and that was completing the set of a winner on every course in Britain for me."