Following-up a recent win at Punchestown and stretching his winning sequence to five, the eight-year-old Turtle Island gelding jumped well in front for Katie Walsh and, when tackled by Tullintain, Start me Up and Silent Creek in the closing stages, stayed on dourly to triumph by two and three-quarter lengths.
A delighted Katie Walsh later commented: “He’s straight-forward - he jumps and gallops. He did it well, but I don’t know what the plan is for him now.”
Katie went on to complete a double when giving 9/4 favourite Hidden Identity a confident ride to land the mares bumper emphatically from Mini Vic.
The Benefcicial mare cruised into contention turning for home and, having edged ahead early in the final furlong, forged clear to win by ten lengths.
Winning trainer Terence O’Brien reported: “She’s a good-looking mare and was unfortunate to pull a hamstring first time out at Punchestown. She did it well today, although it probably wasn’t a strong race, and is a nice enough prospect.”
Tom Taaffe, currently in hospital, missed seeing Paddy Mangan guide his Distant Memories to a comfortable one-length win over Page Turner in the opening Roches Feeds Maiden Hurdle.
Taaffe’s wife, Elaine, commented: “He’s our first winner for Jim and Fitri Hay, so it’s an important one. I think Tom hopes to run him a novice in Naas at the end of January.”
Paddy Mangan attempted to double-up when making the running on Terence O’Brien’s Farrells Fancy in the Woodlands House Hotel Hurdle. But he was comfortably outpointed at the business end by the Mouse Morris-trained Tillahow, a sixth winner in two days for Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud. Tillahow scored by six and a half lengths, in the hands of 7lb. claimer Ben Dalton.
John Joe Walsh has a fine strike-rate at Limerick and was successful again when Really Unique, ridden by Philip Enright, proved a facile winner of the Goggin Buckley Engineering Handicap Hurdle. Walsh described Limerick as “a lucky track” for him and confirmed that Really Unique will reappear in a similar handicap at Tramore on Sunday.
Also set for a quick reappearance is the Seamus Braddish-trained Satwa King, which, ridden by Aine O’Connor, recorded his third win over course and distance in the Limerick Racecourse Vets Handicap Hurdle.
And trainer Eoin Doyle continued his rich vein of end-of-year form when Count Salazar, ridden by Pat Collins, justified 7/2 favouritism in the Earl Of Harrington Memorial Hunters Chase.
Doyle enthused: “He’s tough and jumps great.”