Fresh from his Ebor victory with Dirar and on the eve of his latest assault on Perth, Elliott saddled the eight-year-old to record his third win from four starts since arriving in his Capranny Stables from Joe Murphy’s and, in doing so, defying a 13lb. rise in the ratings on the back of a fluent success in Tramore last Sunday.
Held up in rear, Supercede made relentless progress on the final circuit, helped by some spectacular jumping, and cruised through on the inside to lead approaching the straight before stretching clear to slam Westmeath Bachelor by twelve lengths.
A delighted Elliott declared: “Paul is a genius. That was some ride again,” before outlining plans for his winner.
“This horse just keeps improving and I think we’ll have to run him again soon. He’s in a valuable race in Ffos Las on Wednesday (a race Elliott won with Backstage last year) and, all being well, he’ll go there. I think he has 10-9, plus a penalty for this.”
A return to Kilbeggan on September 3 is on the cards for Queen of Cool following her battling victory over Lizzie Bennett and front-running Clu Agus Cail in the opening Pat Doyle Memorial Mares Novice Hurdle.
Trained by Tim Doyle for his wife Claire, the King’s Theatre mare edged past Clu Agus Cail after the second last and stayed on under strong driving by Emmet Mullins to score by two and a half lengths.
Trainer Doyle commented: “She was unlucky the last day in Naas. She seemed to be travelling well when she slipped up. But she’s been very consistent and deserved to get her head in front again. There’s another mares race here in a few weeks (a ‘winners of two’ on September 3) and, all being well, she’ll come back for that.”
Oliver Brady treated his supporters to another ‘performance’ after Imperial Shabra, in the colours of his chief patron Rita Shah, outpointed market rival Blue Turk in the Louis Vambeck Memorial Maiden Hurdle.
The Mattie Bowes ridden six-year-old, raised no less than 17lb. for his recent second to Rayhani in Naas - a massive improvement on all previous form - pressed Blue Turk from flagfall, went to the front after the third last flight and stayed on under pressure to triumph by eight lengths.
“He’s a grand horse, that’s had a few problems, but he’s come right and its’ great to win with him at last,” declared Brady after entertaining the crowd around the winner’s enclosure.
Paul Gilligan and Andrew Lynch, out of luck with Blue Turk, bounced back later when Covie Lad, in the colours of the NSW Syndicate, landed the grief-filled Scanlons Bar & Restaurant Beginners Chase at the expense of Im So Lonely.
Gilligan said: “They’ve been running well again. I thought this horse needed softer ground and when the lads asked me if they should back him tonight, I warned them to be careful. He ran well here a few runs back and was unlucky to be carried out in Galway.
“He might head back to Galway now – there’s a suitable novice there next Sunday.”
Another County Galway handler David Kelly, who is based in Ballygar, saddled Doransfirth to spring a 14/1 shock in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle, the six-year-old Flemensfirth mare opening her account at her sixteenth attempt.
After seeing his charge triumph in the hands of Keith Clarke, Kelly explained: “She’s been consistent but unlucky until now. But I thought everything was in her favour today – trip and ground.
“She was having a problem with her wind, so we got that sorted. She’s a nice mare and might win again over hurdles and she’ll jump fences after Christmas.”
An even bigger shock came in the Kinnegad Handicap Hurdle when A Little Different, owned and trained by Seamus O’Farrell, made virtually all under Keith Donoghue. A winner in Perth last September, but off the track since the following month, 25/1 shot A Little Different shook off the attentions of Ballachroy before the second last flight and kept going to beat Substitute by four lengths, giving 5lb. claimer Donoghue his thirteenth win of the season in Ireland.
On a night when Supercede proved the only winning favourite, the Willie Mullins trained market-leader Anderson Mcauley was foiled in the bumper by the Colin Bowe trained debutante King’sandqueens, ridden by Barry O’Neill, which forged clear inside the final furlong to win by two and a half lengths.
Another successful King’s Theatre mare, King’sandqueens is owned by Wexford man Paddy Doyle, father of Wolves and Ireland striker Kevin, and will go for another mares’ bumper before being sent over hurdles.