Hidden Universe atones for Cheltenham flop impressively in Champion Bumper

THE Grade 1 Paddy Power Champion Bumper produced a particularly smart winner in Dermot Weld’s four-year-old, Hidden Universe, writes Pat Keane

Beautifully handled by Robbie McNamara, he set sail for home early in the straight to beat Oilily a comfortable two lengths.

Said Weld: “The plan was to dictate it, or else to ride the rails. Robbie can execute those plans so well.

“He is a lovely young horse and we will leave him off now. I think he will be an outstanding dual-purpose horse later in the year and into next year.

“I don’t know what went wrong at Cheltenham. Pat Smullen came back from Dubai to ride, but he was so disappointing. He was a hundred per cent when we brought him home.”

Sivota, having only his second outing for Willie Mullins and ridden by his nephew, Emmet, toyed with the opposition on the way to taking the Martinstown Opportunity Series Final Handicap Hurdle.

He never came off the bridle at any stage, cruising through the contest and easing ahead approaching the home turn to score by an unflattering nine lengths. Said Mullins: “I am delighted for Emmet, the drying ground was a big help. He will stay the handicap route and mix it between hurdles and the flat. His owner is from Roscommon, so I’d say Galway will be on the agenda.”

Tommy Treacy made an early and decisive move on Jessica Harrington’s Gimli’s Rock to take the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Hurdle.

He committed before the home turn and had a willing partner, who quickly stormed clear of Doctor Deejay.

“He struggled in the winter and is a different horse on better ground”, reported Harrington.

“I won this last year with No One Tells Me and if he turns out to be as good as her I will be very happy.”

Andrew McNamara, stood down with concussion for six days here on Tuesday, missed a winner when Rigour Back Bob landed the Madra Dog Food Novice Hurdle.

Barry Geraghty deputised and there was only going to be one outcome, once Edward O’Grady’s charge eased past Araballe Boy going to the final flight.

Rigour Back Bob is owned by the Gaticoma Syndicate, one of whose members is the Galway hurling manager, John McIntyre.

Said O’Grady: “He has been a fantastic model of consistency all season. It took a while to get his jumping right, but he’s only five and could develop into a smart staying hurdler one day.”

John Thomas McNamara rode his rivals to sleep when coming from miles behind, this was run at a suicidal gallop, aboard Enda Bolger’s On the Fringe to win the Brian Price Memorial Champion Hunters Chase.

“That was a brilliant ride from J T, he used his head”, said Bolger. “He (On The Fringe) won a point-to-point about three weeks ago very impressively for Nina (Carberry).”

Willie Mullins, on the mark with Sivota, completed a double when Polmar (David Casey) showed far greater resolution that Hairy Molly to grab the Daily Mirror Handicap Chase. It was Mullins’ fifth success of the two days.

The attendance was 17,057, up from 16,246 last year.

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