Back over hurdles after flat wins at Ballinrobe and Clonmel within the last two weeks, Missunited dictated the pace under Bryan Cooper and, although untidy at a few hurdles, was always in command, readily quickening clear on the run-in to beat Zuzka by three and three-quarter lengths.
“She missed a few hurdles, probably because she was on her own in front,” commented Winters afterwards. “We knew she was in great order coming here. And it was great that Bryan won on her — she’s been back in Castlegregory swimming, with his father Tom.”
He added: “The plan now is the Curragh, for the Irish Cesarewitch.”
Winters was on hand to congratulate another Co Cork handler, Adrian Maguire, following the gutsy all-the-way win, under top-weight, of Golden Kite in the O’Leary Insurances Handicap Hurdle.
Having his first run since the Troytown last November, the ten-year-old, ridden by 7lb. claiming amateur Declan Queally, he kept going well to beat Georgie.
And Maguire enthused. “I knew he was in good form and he always runs well fresh. His heart is bigger than himself. Declan is value for his 7lb. claim and gave the horse a great ride. We‘ll probably go to Listowel now, for the three-mile handicap hurdle on Thursday.”
Oliver Brady is enjoying a successful run and provided 7lb. claimer Ryan Treacy with a winner, when 14/1 shot Imperial Shabra made all and proved too strong for even-money favourite Laganbank in the Deacy Gilligan Novice Chase.
The eight-year-old was a third winner for Treacy, who earned praise from Brady’s assistant, Anthony McCann. “The young lad gave the horse a superb ride. We’ll give this horse a couple of days off and head for Listowel.”
Trainers Gordon Elliott and Val O’Brien had the distinction of saddling a one-two on the card, Elliott savouring his first success from his new yard, between Longwood and Trim, when Fisher outpointed Bigearsonmyright in the Anglo Printers 3-Y-0 Maiden Hurdle.
Fisher, Elliott’s first winner for English owner, and former trainer, David Barker, was ridden by Barry Geraghty, who, like Paddy Kennedy (rider of the third Habesh) picked-up a one-day ban, both riders found guilty of using their respective whips above shoulder height.
Later, Val O’Brien saddled first and second in the Colm Quinn BMW Handicap Chase when the Tony Kelly-ridden Ballygill Gale held What A Island, ridden by the trainer’s son Tom, by a half-length.
Tom O’Brien, who rode his first winner in Kilbeggan last Friday, was banned for two racedays for using his whip with excessive frequency.
“She’s a home-bred mare and was unlucky not to win her bumper,” said Edward O’Grady after the Niall ‘Slippers’ Madden-ridden St. Maxime won the Parkmore Maiden Hurdle at the expense of Notimetoserve.
The Noel Lawlor-trained Dr Linzi, sent into the lead by Sonny Carey with more than two furlongs to race, ran out a convincing winner of the bumper, the Jamie Kyne Memorial Flat Race.