The Henry de Bromhead-trained six-year-old, in the colours of Alan and Ann Potts, made most of the running, produced a flawless display of jumping and stayed on powerfully to triumph by three and three-quarter lengths, providing Jonathan burke with his first win as a 3lb. claimer.
“He had a nice season hurdling, but always looked likely to be a chaser,” said de Bromhead.
“He jumped great and did it nicely. He’ll handle most types of ground, but I’d plan to run him up to Christmas and give him a break before preparing him for the Festivals in the spring.”
A return to Punchestown for the Grade 2 Florida Pearl on November 16 or a step into Grade 1 company in the Drinmore at Fairyhouse on November 30 are possible options for the Indian Danehill gelding.
The earlier two mile beginners chase went to the Paul Carberry-ridden Chancol, trained for J P McManus by Noel Meade, which made virtually all the running, despite hanging left at times, for an emphatic win.
“I don’t know why he hung – he doesn’t do it at home,” commented Meade. “He was a very sick horse last season but he jumped around clean and well, although he was a bit fresh, and we’ll see where he fits in.”
Barry Geraghty continued his rich vein of form (he’s won on his last five rides) when giving the Michael Hourigan-trained 11/10 favourite Drumacoo a patient ride to land the Go Racing In Kildare 2015 Maiden Hurdle at the expense of front-runner Roi Des Francs.
“He’s just a nice horse and a chaser is what he’ll be,” stated Hourigan. “He needs to develop physically and is a horse to look forward to. We’ll go the easy route with him over hurdles – he might go to Limerick now – he won’t go the hard route until he goes chasing.”
Jessica Harrington introduced an interesting mare — Rock On The Moor — to make all under her daughter Kate in the bumper, the six-year-old daughter of Flemensfirth sprinting away in the straight to triumph by nine lengths.
“I’m thrilled with her,” said the winning trainer. “We’ll try to win a listed mares bumper with her, perhaps in Navan or Huntingdon, before she goes hurdling – and she jumps like a cat.”
Trainer Philip Dempsey admitted: “He’s far from straight-forward and has a bit of a kink, but that’s him,” after Mr. Diablo, ridden by the trainer’s son Luke, turned over 8/13 favourite Wrath Of Titans in the opening maiden hurdle. “He had a good look at the last, but picked up well,” added Dempsey, who intends giving the Presenting gelding an entry in the Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle in Fairyhouse (November 30).
The consistent Stop Road Lad opened his account, at the twenty-first attempt, when capturing the Panoramic Restaurant Package Handicap Hurdle under Martin Burke, prompting his trainer Tim Doyle to explain: “He’s an eight-year-old, but he was weak and it’s only now he’s getting his act together. He doesn’t want soft ground and will make a grand chaser next summer.”