Dwan, who won a point-to- point this term and finished third on his only other ride on the track, completed his Irish oral exam in Cashel Community School yesterday morning, before weighing out to ride the four-year-old debutant in the silks of the all-conquering Gigginstown House Stud.
The half-brother to the classy Staying Article travelled strongly for his inexperienced rider and, after being brought wide to challenge in the straight, stayed on best to deny Mon Lino.
“He’s a fabulous worker, and a great young lad,” said Doyle, of Dwan. “He’s been with me since he was 12 or 13 years of age.”
Of the horse, he added: “The horse is big and backward, and can do nothing but improve.”
The winning jockey added: “It’s just my second ride, so I’m absolutely delighted. The horse quickened nicely to challenge and stayed on well to win. He has the potential to be a very good horse.”
Plain Talking earned some summer away days after winning the opening race, a mares’ maiden hurdle, for trainer Gavin Cromwell and jockey Brien Kane.
The 2-1 second-favourite was tucked-in behind the pace for much of the journey and, despite a modest round of jumping, eased upsides the market leader, Siberian Vixen, at the top of the straight.
Kane sent his mount — the only four-year-old in the field — to the front racing to the last and she kept on well to deny the renewed effort of the favourite by a neck.
“She idled in front, but he (Brien) had to go on when he did,” said Cromwell. “I was a bit surprised with her as I thought she would be a good ground mare, but all her best form is on heavy going. She’ll be kept on the go through the summer, and could have a couple of trips to Perth for mares’ races.”
Bobbie’s Diamond justified late support (3-1 to 9-4) when taking the second race for trainer Tony Martin and jockey Denis O’Regan.
“He’s slow, but keeps galloping, and stayed at it well,” said Martin. “He needed that trip and ground — if it had been a couple of furlongs shorter he may have been in trouble.”
Twiss’s Hill completed back-to-back victories when leading all the way in the mares’ handicap hurdle. The market spoke most favourably for runner-up Court Challenge, but her late progress was never a threat to the eased-down winner.
After Stolberg made most of the running to take the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle in the hands of Conor Brassil, trainer Andrew McNamara joked: “I must be a better vet than a trainer, because I’ve cured his heart, leg and wind problems.”
The 3-1 co-favourite bossed matters from the front and was eased close home to beat the staying-on He Is Top Class.
“I knew, coming here today, he was better than when he won here previously,” added McNamara. “He’ll go for the Martinstown Opportunity final at Punchestown next — after today, I’m sure he’ll get into that race.”
Some Drama looked to have a gilt-edged opportunity in the Greenmount Park Beginners’ Chase and Dermot McLoughlin’s horse, sent off 4-7, took it with the minimum of fuss.
“He won as he liked, and it was a good experience for him,” said the winning trainer. “Andrew (Lynch, jockey) said he would prefer better ground. He has taken time to come to himself, but is going the right way now, and we’ll keep him in for the summer.”
Easy to back in the morning but the subject of late support, King Blue belatedly earned a second career success when taking the two-mile-one handicap chase for Ross O’Sullivan and rider Jack Kennedy.
Getting in too tight at the final fence wasn’t enough to stop the 13-8 favourite, who regathered his momentum and got up late for a cosy success from The Shepherd King.
“After he got beaten at Clonmel, Jack said to drop him back in trip, and it worked,” said O’Sullivan.
“It’d be great to get another race into him before the ground dries up.”
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