Superbly handled by Kevin Sexton, the son of Lawman jumped like the proverbial cat and made every yard of the running.
He had most of the opposition gasping for breath a long way from home and maintained a relentless gallop all the way up the straight to trounce Annagh Haven by five lengths.
“I’m delighted, it’s a good pot to win,” said McConnell. “I told the owner over two months ago that he would win this race easily and I’m glad I was right.
“This has been the plan, especially when he didn’t get into the Galway Hurdle. I have no plan at the minute, he’s entitled to a break.”
Aidan O’Brien’s Smuggler’s Cove landed a little touch in the opening Jet O’Carroll Memorial EBF Maiden.
Backed from 4-1 to 9-4, the son of Fastnet Rock was driven to challenge by Joseph O’Brien off the home turn.
He then found plenty for pressure and was soon in front to beat uneasy favourite, New Alliance, by a length and a quarter.
Reported Joseph: “He stepped up on his first start (Roscommon), was green and babyish then. He quickened nicely and has a good attitude.” O’Brien weighed in 1.6lbs over his correct weight and was suspended for one day.
The Paul Deegan-trained Hassah, beaten 35 lengths when sixth of seven behind Jack Naylor at the Curragh on her debut, ran away with the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Median Auction Fillies Maiden.
In-form Colm O’Donoghue, it was his fourth winner in four days, was in the plate and once he set her alight in the straight this was over.
Said Deegan: “It is great she is back on track, it was too bad to be true the last day. The cheek-pieces helped, but she is a smart filly, who may not run again this season.”
Willie McCreery continued his terrific campaign, with Kanes Pass following up her recent victory at Roscommon by taking the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Fillies Handicap.
Beautifully handled by Leigh Roche, she powered through in the straight to wear down long-time leader, Empress Toorah.
“She’s a hardy little filly, honest and gives everything every time,” said McCreery. “She does a lot of work at home for another filly (Fiesolana).”
Jessica Harrington’s Hurricane Ridge battled on strongly to take the John F McGuire Novice Chase, in the hands of Robbie Power, kicking away early in the straight to beat Bally Longford by two and a quarter lengths.
Commented Harrington: “He’s not very big and two and a half is as short as he’d want. He will get two six and, maybe, three miles. He’s not a very big horse and likes small fields.”
Bally Longford was probably an unlucky loser. He was almost on the floor at the sixth last and turned for home a remote fourth of four.
But he finished with a flourish to close in on the leader and wasn’t helped by getting in tight to two out.
Willie Mullins’ newcomer, the easy to back and diminutive Rio Treasure, streaked away with the Kerry Petroleum Bumper.
Partnered by Aubrey McMahon, the daughter of Captain Rio swept through on the outside in the straight to win going away by three lengths.
It was a first success for 16-year-old McMahon, having only a second ride in public. He learned his trade with summers at Willie Mullins’ and Saturdays at Ted Walsh’s.
The Brandon Hotel Handicap produced a ready winner in Chillie Billie, trained in Co Meath by John Larkin.
Partnered by Ross Coakley, Chillie Billie made all-of-the running, shooting clear in the straight to score with lots in hand.