Successful in Tipperary on Sunday and carrying a mandatory 4lb. penalty, nullified by Ryan Treacy’s 5lb. claim, Kylecrue had to dig deep to keep Dalasiri at bay in the closing stages, but held on by a three-quarters of a length before surviving a Stewards Enquiry.
“He’s a fair horse, as tough as nails, and I really fancied him again,” said Ryan. “He’s a seasoned, hardened campaigner and I didn’t think a four-year-old (Unplaced favourite Mustadrik) would beat him.”
“He didn’t have a hard race in Tipperary and licked the pot yesterday morning. So we decided to come here for a good ‘pot’. His plan remains the same, “the Galway Blazers next week.”
The Willie Mullins-trained Aminabad and Gordon Elliott’s Vercingetorix were sent off 10/11 joint-favourites for the three-runner Monroe’s Live Hurdle. But, on the track, there was no doubting Aminabad’s superiority as the Gigginstown-owned five-year-old made all under Ruby Walsh and stretched clear of his market rival going to the final flight to triumph by twelve lengths. “He did it well and was slick today, like he was when he won his maiden in Wexford – I don’t know what went amiss in the middle,” explained the winning rider.
“Fitness-wise, the run will help him. He’s in the Galway Hurdle next week and I’m sure he’ll line-up.”
Gordon Elliott and Paul Carberry landed both maiden hurdles on the card, with Mr Steadfast and Georges Conn respectively.
Mr. Steadfast made it fourth-time-lucky over hurdles when coming from mid-division to win the opening Paddy Smyth Memorial Maiden Hurdle.
Favourite Trainstation (Sean Flanagan) looked sure to triumph between the last two flights and still held a lead of more than a length over Carberry’s mount when making a costly mistake at the final flight, handing the initiative to Mr Steadfast, which went onto score by a length and a quarter.
“I suppose we had a bit of luck on our side,” said Elliott.
“I was a bit worried about the ground coming down. He didn’t jump great early but, when he needed it, he winged the last. Paul said the further he went, the better he got and that he had a chance going to the last. I’d say we could be travelling with him – he could go to Perth next week.”
Off the course for almost two years, Georges Conn came from well off the pace under Carberry to collar Nimdani before the final flight for a comfortable, three and a quarter length victory in the Mayo News Maiden Hurdle.
Elliott commented: “I’d say it was a poor race. He’s been a long time off the track and I thought he’d come on for the run – I told the owners not to bother coming down! He’s a nice horse to go jumping fences.”
Norman Lee, who trains in Gort, County Galway, had the distinction of saddling first and second for owner Paul Mullins in the Supermac’s Handicap Hurdle as the Adam O’Neill-ridden Supreme Vic followed-up a win in Gowran Park and justified 4/1 favouritism at the expense of Blackandamber Vic.
Lee who intends running the Old Vic mare later in the week in Galway. “She’s improving all the time and, if she’s okay, she’ll run in Galway. But she jumps very well and will be jumping fences soon.”
Michael O’Hare savoured a welcome success when Some Pride, which he trains for his mother Tracey, won the McWilliam Park Hotel Handicap Hurdle at the expense of favourite Itsonthelist. He commented: “Today was our wee plan – he just gallops all day long.”