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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Robert Hynes

Commentator's unfortunate slip of the tongue on Irish Grand National day at Fairyhouse

Jerry Hannon had an unfortunate slip of the tongue on Irish Grand National day at Fairyhouse as Monkfish returned to a racecourse for the first time in almost two years.

The two-time Cheltenham Festival winner impressed in his first run for 713 days as he finished second to stablemate Asterion Forlonge in the Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Hurdle at Fairyhouse.

But Hannon mistakenly called Monkfish something else during the 2m4f Grade 2 contest at the Co Meath venue.

READ MORE: Irish Grand National full result and placed horses as Paul Townend wins €500,000 race on I Am Maximus

Racing TV shared footage of the commentary mishap on social media, writing: "Nicky Henderson has referred to him as Fishcake . . .

"Others have dubbed him Fishpond . . .

"Yesterday, the excellent Jerry Hannon had a rare slip of the tongue and called him something else."

Asterion Forlonge was running over hurdles for the second time since pausing a chasing career that brought about mixed fortunes with some good performances but also several falls.

Monkfish, also trained by Willie Mullins, had been absent from the track for nearly two years due to injury but was a very highly regarded novice chaser prior to that.

Asterion Forlonge was the 11-8 favourite under Paul Townend as Monkfish went off at 11-4 and was ridden at the rear of the field by Danny Mullins.

Monkfish gave chase after the last fence and was closing as the line approached, but could not pass Asterion Forlonge and missed out by half a length.

David Casey, Mullins’ assistant, said of the grey victor: “We’re delighted with him, he improved plenty for his run in Thurles and I think he’ll improve plenty from today as well.

“He did everything right, he’s had his issues and we’re delighted to get his head back in front today.

“He’s in the Stayers’ Hurdle at Punchestown and the plan at the moment is to keep him over hurdles for the time being. All going well I’d imagine he’ll go there.”

On Monkfish he added: “We’re thrilled with him. He had plenty of build-up work done, but he’ll improve again for it. Hopefully he’ll be sound enough to go to Punchestown as well, he’s in the same race.

“The idea is to keep him over hurdles for the end of the season and then maybe go back chasing next year. Hopefully he’ll come out of it well and we’re absolutely thrilled with the way he ran.”


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