Shortall, who partnered Road To Riches to big-race success in Galway, got 5/2 favourite Cassells Rock up on the line to land PBA At Bellewstown Mullacurry Handicap Hurdle by a short head from frontrunner Curragh Golan.
The 5lb. claimer was banned for not giving his mount time to respond to his whip-use. And the winning trainer explained: “He’s had a few problems since we got him from France. But that’s his ground — he didn’t handle winter ground. And we’ll see where we’ll go with him.”
Shortall struck again as Point Of Rescue, a first winner trained for JP McManus by James Nash, got the better of the Willie Mullins-trained odds-on favourite Bosman Rule in the Bet Online At thetote.com Maiden Hurdle.
“He’s been running in handicaps and it wasn’t the obvious thing to do, running him back in a maiden, but it worked out,” said Nash. “He needs three miles and seems to be improving. So we’ll try to win another hurdle with him. He’s not very big but should jump a fence. And it’s an important winner for me — a first for Mr McManus.”
The McManus colours were also successful on hot-pot Draco, which justified 1/3 favouritism in the Awards And Gifts Maiden Hurdle, cruising to an effortless six lengths win over Mind The Pennies.
Draco, runner-up in a competitive maiden at Galway on his hurdling debut, is trained by Aidan O’Brien. And the winning owner’s racing manager, Frank Berry, stated: “He settled better today and jumped away. We’ll look for a winners’ race for him, or a handicap.”
The tough and consistent frontrunner Little King Robin recorded her fifth win over hurdles when making all to land the opening Good Enuf To Eat Event Catering Mares Hurdle under Mark Walsh.
As usual, she kept going well to hold Ballychorus and is now due a break, as her trainer Colin Bowe confirmed. “She’s ground-dependent and deserves a break. She’s as tough as old boots and will be probably be off until around Christmas or January. And the mares hurdle in Cheltenham (the OLBG, now a Grade 21 event) is her long-term target.”
Local trainers Gordon Elliott and Noel Meade were both on the mark, Elliott scoring with the Davy Russell-ridden Luddsdenene in the Lougher Stables Handicap Hurdle while Meade triumphed with Bose Ikard, ridden by Davy Condon, which followed-up a beginners chase success in Roscommon by capturing the Thatch Bar Katies Ktchen Handicap Hurdle.
Elliott will consider aiming Luddsdene at a selling hurdle in Britain while, if he’s okay, Bose Ikard could make a quick reappearance in Down Royal tonight.
And Katie Walsh rode her second winner of the week when Barry Connell’s First To Boogie, off the course since April 2012 and trained by Tony Mullins, proved best in the lady riders’ bumper.