Racing: Bog Frog jumps to it

The locally trained Bog Frog (Jean-Yves Beaurain) saw off the Anglo-Irish challenge in the Grande Course de Haies d'Auteuil (French Champion Hurdle) at Auteuil yesterday, writes Ian Davies.

The best effort by the overseas challengers came from the Ferdy Murphy- trained Paddy's Return (Norman Williamson) who finished fifth. The Irish challenger Noble Thyne was ninth but both Bimsey and Pleasure Shared were pulled up.

Commenting on Paddy's Return's run, Murphy said: "I think we might have finished third but for a bad mistake three out."

Rain is threatening tomorrow's meeting at Pontefract. The clerk of the course, Norman Gundill, said yesterday: "Water is standing in places on the course. A decision on whether an inspection will be necessary will be made before 10am tomorrow. We've had two and three-quarter inches of rain in the past seven days, two inches since Wednesday morning and half an inch this morning." The going at the track is soft, heavy in places.

The British "second string" The Fly was the best backed horse yesterday on the eve of the Irish Derby at The Curragh. The Barry Hills-trained colt, who finished three places behind today's favourite Silver Patriarch when fifth in the Derby three weeks ago, had his price clipped from 12- 1 to 10-1 by William Hill.

David Hood, a William Hill spokesman, said: "The Fly was also the steamer in the Derby betting at Epsom. From declaration time on the Thursday he was backed from 40-1 in to 12-1 and he ran respectably to finish fifth after having trouble in running. It looks as though the same punters have kept faith with the horse and are looking for a little compensation in Ireland."

William Hill betting: 10-11 Silver Patriarch, 5-1 Strawberry Roan (from 9-2), 7-1 Desert King, Loup Sauvage, 10-1 The Fly (from 12-1), 14-1 Johan Cruyff, 20-1 Token Gesture, 25-1 Casey Tibbs, Dr Johnson, 33-1 Verglas.

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