The J P McManus-owned, Noel Meade-trained six-year-old, making his seasonal debut, was a major market-drifter but, confidently ridden by Tony McCoy, always appeared to have the measure of his rival from the third last flight.
Jered mastered Cork All Star on the run-in and was merely kept up to his work by McCoy to score by three quarters of a length, a solid performance as he was conceding the former Cheltenham Bumper winner 11lb.
It was a triumphant return to his local track for McCoy, riding at Down Royal for the first time in fourteen years. Trainer Meade couldn’t hide his enthusiasm in his post-race comments: “I’m absolutely thrilled. I was as impressed as I have ever been by him. I was really worried beforehand, because of the ground. It was always going to be a fair test, giving 11lb. to such a good horse.
“Tony said he was very fresh and rushed the first hurdle. So he got him settled and didn’t let him attack any of the other hurdles. But he jumped the last three really well. He had a good blow.”
Meade added: “We’ll have to sit down and plan his season, because J P has a few others in the mix. But the ‘Morgiana’ at Punchestown would strike me as the obvious race for him, with ‘Harchie’ (Harchibald) heading back to Newcastle for the ‘Fighting Fifth’ and Aitmatov going for the ‘Lismullen’ at Navan next Sunday.”
Jered was cut to 8/1 generally for the 2009 Smurfit Champion Hurdle, with Cashmans still offering 10/1 (from 12).
Paul Carberry, Jered’s former partner, took the riding honours, completing a double on Fist Of God and Drumconvis.
Fist Of God initiated doubles for both Carberry and Noel Meade when justifying favouritism in the opening three-year-old, the well-backed 11/8 favourite gaining an overdue hurdling success at the expense of Tharawaat. Meade commented: “He has loads of ability but isn’t straight-forward. He’d probable prefer better ground.”
Trained by Tony Martin for local owner Bill Moffatt, Druimconvis opened his account over fences in the J W J Porter & Co. Beginners Chase, outstaying Boulavogue to the delight of trainer Tony Martin, who has no firm plan for the seven-year-old.
French man Matihieu Palussiere, who trains at the famous ‘South Lodge’ in County Tipperary, savoured his third success when Davy Russell steered exciting four-year-old Tramp Stamp to an impressive eight lengths win in the Grade 3 Scarvagh House Stud Mares Novice Hurdle.
Another talented four-year-old mare Voler La Vedette justified even-money favouritism for trainer Colm Murphy and young amateur Michael Fogarty, coasting home in the colours of local businessman Eamonn Kelly in the Archie Watson Memorial Flat Race.
Meanwhile, Pat Smullen took a significant step towards retaining his jockeys’ championship title when recoding a double on Designated Decoy and Redwater River at Gowran Park, extending his lead over Fran Berry to six, 85-79.
Pipped by Timari last time at Fairyhouse, odds-on favourite Designated Decoy gained an overdue win in the Brickana Maiden while Redwater River, without the blinkers he had worn in recent starts, needed all of Smullen’s strength to get home in the October Handicap. Both horse are trained by Dermot Weld, who is in Australia to saddle Profound Beauty in the Melbourne Cup..
Rory Cleary, rider of Sinntaran which was narrowly beaten by Redwater River, picked up a one-day whip ban, but enjoyed better luck in the concluding Paulstown Handicap when he got the Sabrina Harty-trained Gimli’s Treasure up close home to foil the well-backed Havetoavit.
Another trainer with Tuesday’s Flemington feature firmly in focus, Aidan O’Brien, was also in double form, winning the divisions of the two-year-old maiden with Liszt and Byzantine.