CARLOW jockey Jack Foley finished a very creditable third on the Jessica Harrington trained Ashdale Bob in the Grade Three Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle on his Cheltenham Festival debut.
Ashdale Bob actually led coming over the last fence but he was swallowed up by the 50/1 winner Commander of Fleet and Fastorslow, who finished in second place.
“I was happy with him, he jumped and travelled great the whole way and he ran his race. There wasn’t any pace and I was lobbing away and able to dictate it from the front. He ran a cracking race,” said Foley, who is a grand-nephew of the famed trainer of Danoli, Tom Foley.
Jessica Harrington, whose stables are in Moone in Co. Kildare, was pleased with the performance of horse and jockey.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with him. He jumped like a buck and was carrying a lot of weight. We thought we’d want to be up there, but I said to Jack not to get into a pulling competition with him. He really enjoyed being out in front the last day and he’s run another fantastic race there,” she said.
Foley, who rode a winner and two seconds for Willie Mullins in Limerick last Sunday, continues to see his stock rise. Speaking on the ITV coverage, Ruby Walsh noted what a good rider he is and how bright his future looks.
He has two rides in Down Royal tomorrow but is due back at Cheltenham on Friday where he will ride two Willie Mullins horses, Dysart Diamond in the County Hurdle and Five O’Clock in the last race of the Festival, the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockey’s Handicap Hurdle.