Rupert Lamb, in front from the fifth, was still bowling along merrily in the lead, apparently full of running, when falling four out. The winner was then left at the head of affairs and found plenty for Cooper driving up the straight to resist the persistent challenge of Letter Of Credit.
Commented Elliott: “I thought he might need it a bit, he’s been a right servant. There’s a conditions race back here in a few weeks and he could go for that.”
Ruby Walsh, out of luck with Rupert Lamb, gained compensation when Urano took the thurles.ie Maiden Hurdle. Willie Mullins’ charge had been very frustrating, but stepping up to two miles and six clearly is the key to him and he won with any amount in hand. Walsh asked Urano to lead coming away from two out and he eased away to beat the gambled on Sizing Coal by nine lengths.
Said Mullins: “That is a case of the trainer getting it wrong, I thought he had the speed for two miles. He will now stay at two and a half plus.”
Mullins completed a double when Beluckyagain, ridden by his son, Patrick, and having a first outing since the Listowel festival, powered ahead early in the straight to win the Bumper. “I’d say he will go hurdling now and will be in the staying division”, said Mullins senior.
Tom Foley’s The Pounds ran out an impressive winner of the INH Stallion Owners’ EBF Maiden Hurdle, in the hands of Roger Loughran.
The Pounds forged ahead going to the second last to beat the well-backed Kerrieonvic by an easy seven lengths.
“This is the bit I like” quipped Foley, as he moved to debrief the assembled press corps. “He is always knocking on the door and was entitled to win. He loves that ground and we will definitely try a winners’ of one now.”
Bryan Cooper had his first ride in this contest as the Gigginstown number one aboard Desertmore Stream. The son of Celtic Swing was out of contention, however, when falling at the last.
Midleton, Co Cork trainer, Donie Murphy, was on the mark when Bothair Clei took the Horse And Jockey Handicap Hurdle.
Bothair Clei buckled down well from the back of the final flight to beat Pairc Na Leasa by half a length.
“He’s the winner of four point-to-points and will probably go chasing now”, reported Murphy.
Unlucky horse of the contest was the favourite, Sterling Stuff. He found whatever trouble was going from before the third last, but was challenging strongly when stumbling on landing at the last, unseating Philip Enright.
Carrigeeen Kariega popped up at 25-1 in the Thurles Racecourse Handicap Chase, giving his 21-year-old rider, John Lalor, a first success on the track. Trained by Lalor’s father, Dick, the mare slogged her way through the terrible ground easily the best to score by 12 lengths. Said the proud father: “John had a big smile on his face passing the post.”
Philip Rothwell’s Luddsdenene was far too good for the opposition in the Munster Handicap Hurdle. Partnered by Paul Townend, he was inclined to edge left over the last two flights, but still won by an eased down five and a half lengths.