Dalmatia strikes at Punchestown

The rest of the news from Punchestown, where Dalmatia loomed out of a thick winter fog to win the opening contest.

Dalmatia ridden by Mark Enright (yellow silks) races towards the last flight on the way to winning the Total Event Rental Handicap Hurdle at Punchestown.

Dalmatia emerged from the thick Punchestown fog to win the Total Event Rental Handicap Hurdle for trainer Eddie Harty.

Mark Enright was keen to get an early lead on the former Sir Michael Stoute-trained mare, who used to be owned by the Queen.

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Viewing conditions were so bad it was impossible to see a great deal, but the nearly-white Dalmatia (10/1) emerged from the gloom still in front approaching the last and held off Solita by half a length.

Joseph O'Brien's Aspen Colorado was the unplaced 11/2 favourite.

Enright said: "She was very good. I got a soft enough lead and tipped away. I was a bit slow at a couple of the hurdles down the back but she was just idling a little bit.

"From the back of the second-last I sent her on as I knew she'd stay. I'd say the further she goes the better."

Of the thick fog, Enright added: "It's absolutely no problem. You can see the jumps from a good bit away."

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