Racing: The Bunny Boiler on the mark for Meade

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The Independent Online

A shocking blunder at the final fence failed to stop The Bunny Boiler winning the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse yesterday. His rider, Ross Geraghty, did remarkably well to stay on board the 12-1 shot as his mount gave a hefty clout to the fence, bringing the partnership to a virtual standstill. But The Bunny Boiler regained momentum to beat the outsiders Give Over (25-1) and Northern Sound (40-1).

The win provided Noel Meade with a breakthrough in the race. "Tom Dreaper, who monopolised the race in the 1960s, was my boyhood hero and I always wanted to win an Irish National. But I must admit my heart was in my mouth when The Bunny Boiler got the last fence all wrong," Meade said.

At 25, Geraghty is the older brother of former Irish champion jockey Barry, who fell three fences out on Rathbawn Prince. The favourite, Commanche Court, was pulled up by Ruby Walsh before the final fence.

* A problem with Tote computers yesterday meant that some race dividends and placepots had to be calculated manually and were not available when punters left the course. Punters can claim by sending their tickets to the late-pay department, Tote House, 74 Upper Richmond Road, London SW15 2SU.

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