Vigil in Cheltenham picture after making no mistake over hurdles at Naas

Vigil in Cheltenham picture after making no mistake over hurdles at Naas

Vigil barely came off the bridle in opening his account over jumps in the Paddy Power ACCA Insurance Maiden Hurdle at Naas.

The Dermot Weld-trained seven-year-old has followed an unusual route having run in the last two renewals of the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, finishing a creditable fifth on both occasions.

He was not disgraced in finishing third in a race that has worked out well on his hurdling debut at Leopardstown over Christmas and was a prohibitively priced 2-9 favourite for his latest assignment.

Killahara Castle quickly built up a big lead before predictably faltering and after taking over the lead in the straight, Vigil cruised clear in the hands of Davy Russell to score by three and a quarter lengths from Coeur Joyeux.

"He did what we expected him to do," said Weld.

"Obviously he's a possible for Cheltenham and he's also a possible for Fairyhouse and Punchestown.

"We'll see how he comes out of the race before we make a decision. He's very effective on that ground, but I'd say he'll be effective on good ground as well.

"He handles soft to heavy whereas Silver Concorde (Supreme Novices' Hurdle contender) wants good ground. Silver Concorde is a different horse when he gets good ground.

"I think this horse jumped very well today, he got in and pinged the last. He'll learn a lot from that."

Weld indicated he is likely to saddle Leopardstown runner-up First Figaro in this year's Cheltenham bumper.

Conright Boy made amends for unseating at this track last month as he returned to winning ways in the Paddy Power Collect Your Bets In Any Shop Handicap Hurdle, continuing the good run of jockey Robbie Power.

Power, who had a double at Fairyhouse on Saturday, kicked off the bend, asserting going to two out and jumping the last with a sizeable advantage, although his mount was not that fluent.

But the minor mistake made little difference to his forward momentum and the Cathy O'Leary-trained 16-1 chance had enough in hand to readily hold Ice Cool by three and three-quarter lengths.

Power said: "He can be quite keen, but lucky enough they went a good gallop and he settled well.

"Ideally he wants a bit further, so I made plenty of use of him and he stayed going well."

O'Leary said: "When he gets a bit better ground he'll go a bit further.

"I've nothing planned for him as the ground is so bad at the moment. He'll get a fair old mark after today.

"Hopefully there will be something nice for him in Punchestown, where he should get a little bit better ground. He stays all day.

"He will jump a fence, but we'll wait until next season."

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