Sent off a red-hot 2/9 favourite, the six-year-old jumped well and tracked Beeverstown (set a strong enough pace in the heavy ground) until edging ahead after the third last. Soon clear, Davy Russell’s mount was in command when the longtime leader took a tired fall at the second last, leaving Dedigout to win unchallenged.
“He did everything you could ask him to do first time,” said a delighted trainer Tony Martin. “Both Davy and myself were very happy with his jumping, We’ve always hoped he was a good horse and he showed it today. He’s a real winter ground horse.”
Martin indicated that he’ll seek a suitable opportunity for the Gigginstown House Stud-owned gelding in “three or four weeks”, with the Grade 1 Drinmore at Fairyhouse, a race he won last year with Bog Warrior, an obvious option.
Winner of a point-to-point in Loughrea and well-fancied to make a successful racecourse debut, the Tom Nagle-trained Just A Par produced an impressive performance to slam favourite Heck Thomas in the Vote In The Childrens Referendum Maiden Hurdle, to the delight of a band of supporters from County Galway, who travelled with the five-year-old’s breeder Sean Whelan.
Ridden by Tom Doyle, the Island House gelding tracked the leaders before forging clear to triumph by seven lengths, prompting trainer Nagle to state: “He’s still very green, but he’s a very good horse,” before suggesting that his charge might be for sale.
Trainer Sean O’Brien had mixed feelings after watching Caoimhe’s Delight, ridden by Ciaran Fennessy, powered to a convincing victory in the Go Racing In Kildare Mares Flat Race. The Blueprint mare was bred by O’Brien’s father John, who died last week. O’Brien commented, “She’s always been a good mare and was wrong when she won her point-to-point — we had the virus. She idled in front in Tipperary and was doing it again today. She’s from the same family as Dubacilla and will be a lovely mare over jumps. But I might be tempted to run her in the listed mares bumper in Navan (November 25) first.” Always handy, Caoimhe’s Delight edged ahead turning for home and stayed on dourly to beat front-running Kymin’s Way by four-and-a-half lengths.
“I think she might be stronger and better this year,” suggested Lady Fowler after Banjaxed Girl, ridden by Robbie Power, had made all to beat Oscars Business and Carrig Millie in the Punchestown Annual Membership 2013 Mares Beginners Chase.
A multiple winner for Nigel Twiston-Davies before joining her current handler, Banjaxed Girl put her experience to good use. Her trainer added: “She had a little problem last year and it took me time to sort it out. I was a bit nervous about the ground but Robert said she handled it fine.”
Successful over a longer trip here two weeks ago, Highdownhill, justified 7/2 favouritism in the handicap chase.