A race in Ireland took a bizarre turn as a horse stopped to a walk, allowing its rival to crawl to victory. The race, described as 'grim' by viewers, saw Willie Mullins' former Arkle runner Cash Back win by a staggering 100 lengths in an attritional 3m hurdle over heavy ground at Clonmel.
Neck and Neck, Until Conditions Took Their Toll
The two horses were neck and neck approaching the second final flight, but the grueling conditions proved to be too much for one of them. Cash Back emerged as the winner, leaving its rival far behind.
A Farcical Finish
The 3m hurdle race concluded in a rather farcical manner. The runner-up, Desert Heather, gave up running after the last hurdle and simply walked to the finish line. The only other horse in the race, Monishter Are Mwee, finished a staggering 56 lengths behind the runner-up.
Conditions Take Their Toll
Cash Back, ridden by jockey Paul Townend, made the running alongside Desert Heather. However, the energy-sapping conditions took their toll on both horses, with Desert Heather running out of steam towards the end.
The race divided opinions among viewers. Some found the sight of the struggling horses reaching the finish line difficult to watch, describing it as 'grim' and 'horrible'. Others argued that the jockeys know when to pull a horse up, and finishes like this can be expected during winter races.
A Worthwhile Victory
Cash Back's victory, his first since January 2022, was a significant achievement for the 11-year-old horse and his connections. The first-place prize of £8,000 made it all the more worthwhile. Additionally, the owners of all three finishers received some cash for their horses' efforts.