Trained by Jessica Harrington, Star Horse was following-up a maiden win at Wexford, recording his third win from four career starts.
But he had to dig deep on the run-in to hold the challenge of the flattering Mango Catcher by two and a half lengths. A ‘Winners of Two’, perhaps at Tralee next week, will be next on Star Horse’s agenda.
Eye On The Ball, which slipped up early on his debut at Tipperary recently, made handsome amends when justifying 7/4 favouritism in the bumper, outclassing a field which included six previous winners.
Confidently handled by Tim Hyde, the five-year-old by Slip Anchor, owned by his the winning rider’s mother and trained by his father Timmy, cruised into the lead with less than two furlongs to race to record a smooth success over Lorna’s Star and Premier Rebel and struck most observers as a young horse with a big future.
Front-running tactics proved successful in the three flat events on this mixed card.
Curragh trainer Michael Halford breathed a sigh of relief after Kilmore Princess, runner-up in her four previous starts, finally broke her duck in the Tulsk Fillies Maiden.
Soon in front, Kilmore Princess had odds-on favourite Sareya beaten soon after the two-furlong marker and coasted home a comfortable winner under apprentice Jerry O’Dwyer, who was taking over from stable-jockey Tadgh O’Shea on this daughter of Orpen which will now run in a seven-furlong fillies handicap at Gowran.
Michael Kinane, beaten on Sareya, had better luck on board the John Oxx-trained Diplomats Daughter, which turned over even-money favourite Ease The Way in the Sean Naughton Auctioneers Maiden.
Star apprentice Padraig Beggy notched his 18th win of the season on Michael Cunningham’s mare Tara’s Gift, which made all to beat Floscula in the Irish Stallion Farms Fillies Handicap, the six-year-old’s sixth career win.
Trim-based Cathy O’Leary, sister of trainer Tony Martin, savoured her first training success when Ruby Walsh guided Monitor to an easy win in the Peter Casey & Sons Handicap Hurdle.
Shay Barry was seen at his energetic best as he drove top-weight Fatheroftheb ride to a hard-earned victory for trainer Joe Crowley in the Shannon Handicap Chase.