A last fence faller, when clear, on his chasing debut in Thurles, the six-year-old travelled strongly for O’Regan before coming through to master front-running Mick Thonic for a convincing six lengths success.
The winning rider suggested: “He’s still a bit green but is learning on the job,” while trainer Alan Fleming added: “He’s done plenty of schooling since his fall and jumped well today. Barry has found a two mile, six furlong ‘winners’ of one for him in Killarney and that’s where he’ll go.”
Bryan Hayes made a successful return to action, following an eight-week absence (due to a fractured pelvis) when Kilkishen, trained by John ‘Shark’ Hanlon stayed on dourly to beat Danielle’s Journey in the Belfast Live Hurdle.
“It was a good pot and that’s his trip,” said Hanlon. “He’ll be a nice horse for the summer on proper summer ground. I’m not sure what we’ll do with him because I was planning to go chasing.”
Formerly trained in England by David Elsworth, Derulo made a successful debut over hurdles for Liz Doyle when capturing the Mac-Interiors Maiden Hurdle at the expense of The West’s Awake.
Arthur Moore enjoyed a welcome change of luck when Mitebeall Forluck, ridden by in-form Paul Townend and clearly appreciating the better ground, proved an emphatic winner of the Daily Mirror Handicap Chase.
Nigel Slevin savoured his first training success when 40/1 shot Third Estate, ridden by talented claimer Luke McGuinness, was a shock winner of the bumper.