The Noel Meade-trained nine-year-old, under a supremely confident ride by Nina Carberry, cruised to an impressive six-and-a-half lengths win over cry For The Moon in the www.swordsecurity.com Amateur Race in Galway yesterday.
Meade, busy at the Newmarket Sales, missed seeing this spectacular performance by his Morgiana Hurdle-bound charge. But Nina Carberry explained: “I wanted to look after him — that’s why I stayed wide and out of trouble. He felt great and will, hopefully keep improving.”
But the day belonged to jockey Bryan Cooper, who completed a superb treble in Ballybrit, and his boss Dessie Hughes, who matched that achievement, in addition to winning the Naas bumper with Thunder And Roses.
Kilavalley kicked-off the Hughes/Cooper roller-coaster in the opening maiden hurdle. But it was the victory of Grade 2-winning hurdler Lyreen Legend — on his chasing debut — in the W B Gavin & Co. Beginners Chase which proved the highlight of their day. Having made most of running and jumping safely, Lyreen Legend was headed at the last by Letter Of Credit. Cooper didn’t panic, eased Lyreen Legend back into the lead turning for home, and the 7/4 favourite stayed on dourly to beat Ipsos Du Berlais by two and a quarter lengths.
Hughes stated: “ He has a lovely way of jumping and will stay three miles. So, although he was a bit short of Grade 1 class over hurdles, he’ll hopefully make the grade over fences. I have no immediate plans for him.”
The strapping Viking Ruler gelding Somethingwonderful rounded off a great day for Hughes when outstaying uneasy favourite Fickle Fortune in the bumper. He’ll go for a winners’ bumper in the spring before going hurdling next season.