The 16-1 shot produced a fine exhibition of jumping and staying power, after Danny Howard had taken him the front with over a circuit to cover. The winner did get in close to the third last - the second last was omitted - but a quite brilliant leap at the final fence sealed a decisive success.
Said 29 year-old Gilligan: “I have 12 horses and he is my only decent one, I could do with a few more. I would love to take him to Cheltenham in November.”
Doesheknow was second from a long way out and stayed on stoutly to claim that spot, while Banasan was third when falling at the final fence.
There was a sad end to River Cora, however, who finished runner-up to Native Performance in the Kerry National on Wednesday. He was tracking the leaders when falling at the sixth. Unfortunately, the nine-year-old broke a leg and had to be put down.
Eoin Griffin’s Patrizio completed a five-timer with a smooth performance in the Kerry Spring Water Novice Hurdle.
The contest lost much of its interest when expected market leader, Kickham, missed the race because of the ground.
Hehasalife tried to make all, but Patrizio cantered past approaching two out to score in a canter under Paul Carberry.
Commented Griffin: “I was very concerned about the ground, but Paul said he handled it well.
"This was a penalty kick, but he can do no more than beat what’s put in front of him. It is nice to keep the run going and he may now head for another two and a half miler at Limerick on Munster National day.”
Friend’s Amigo proved disappointing, not for the first time, in the Low Low Race.
He held a huge lead for much of the journey, but began to weaken before the turn for home and had no answer to the challenge of High Priestess at the furlong pole.
Said Denis Cullen, who partnered the winner: “She loves cut and it will be no bother to her to jump a hurdle.”
The eye-catcher was Rockstown Boy, who never threatened to get into the race. He did, however, stay on strongly late to claim fourth spot! One would have to be forgiven for uttering the immortal words, will do better in the future!
What A Hussy, a dual bumper winner, but given a break since disappointing over flights at Bellewstown in early July, reportedly sick on that occasion, got back to her best in the Kerry Maid Maiden Hurdle.
She survived a bad mistake at the second and was always travelling sweetly on the pace.
Fran Flood allowed her lead five from home, but the duo were headed two out by Arthur Daly.
But Arthur Daly found little for pressure and What A Hussy was back in control by the last.
Pat Hughes’ Doc Davis was hardly bred by the Niarchos family with a slogging match over two and a half miles at Listowel in mind. But that is the level which the son of Dr Devious is currently at and he managed to win the Dawn Fresh Cream Handicap Hurdle.
The winner and Battle Line emerged as the principals over the second last, but it was soon a one-horse event, as Doc Davis powered clear for Mark Madden.
Tom Taaffe, successful with Swift Spirit at Fairyhouse on Saturday, made it two in two days when The Biscuit Man won the Dawn Pure Orange Juice Handicap Hurdle. The 6-4 favourite made every yard of the running, in the hands of Barry Geraghty, shooting away in the straight to win this moderate race comfortably
Philip Fenton, one of the finest amateurs this country has ever seen, was at his strongest when taking the Bumper on market leader, Sue ’N Win. Fenton had her in the first two from the start, easing into the lead heading out into the country for the final time.Irish Tzar challenged strongly all the way up the straight, but Fenton kept the mare going in terrific style to score by half a length.