Kennedy completed his double by winning the featured, €30,000 E.P.S. 4-Y-0 Handicap Hurdle on Walkabout for his boss Gordon Elliott.
Unlucky in a couple of recent starts, Walkabout, who is owned by a syndicate including Gary O’Brien of At The Races, raced handily and was sent for home on the approach to the straight before beating recent Sligo winner Duke Cass and Tagg’s Island.
“It wasn’t the best race in the world, but it was a good pot,” said Elliott.
“He jumped a bit better today — we decided to ride him handy and give him a bit of light. Jack made his move at the right time — he’s riding well and Gary is a lucky owner.
“This horse has one run and then seems to flatten out. But he did the job. And we might head to Perth’s September meeting for a novice, if the lads want to have a bit of craic.”
Kennedy had initiated his double when producing the Prunella Dobbs-trained Pusecco with a well-timed late challenge to foil Wilms Warrior and favourite Bobarlee in the Maloney & Matthews Mares Maiden Hurdle.
“It’s lovely to win for a local syndicate, friends of mine,” said Dobbs.
“She’s a lovely consistent mare and I felt her experience would be a help against the favourite. We only have two National Hunt horses, but we’re on a bit of a roll with them.”
Barry Browne, who recorded his biggest success as an amateur when winning the Connacht Hotel Handicap in Galway on Joe Murphy’s Swamp Fox, savoured his first win since joining the paid ranks (as a conditional) when Call Me Pj stayed on dourly to beat Manuka by a length in the Broderick’s Electrical Handicap Hurdle.
Winning trainer Oliver McKiernan said: “I was in two minds about running him the ground — I thought it might be quick enough for him. And he never ran over that trip before. But he’s been working well at home and got the job done well enough.”
Willie Mullins produced another impressive mare Borboleta to win the bumper, the six-year-old Germany mare cruising to an easy, nine-length victory over favourite Cable.
Bought for €60,000 as a four-year-old, Borboleta is a half-sister to The Romford Pele.
Winning rider Patrick Mullins explained: “She’s a mare with a great pedigree. But she’s been hard to keep sound. She’s a bit fragile, so we haven’t been able to train her hard. But there shoud be plenty of fun to be had with her.”
The Karl Thornton-trained favourite Round Tower made all to record an overdue breakthrough success over obstacles in the Burleigh Accountancy Maiden Hurdle, beating market rival Billy De Kid readily by eight and a half lengths.
Thornton said: “He’s a horse with plenty of ability, but he has plenty of issues too, which most people don’t realise. It’s grand to get that out of the way and we’ll school him over fences ow — chasing should be his game.”
Successful with Teachers Pet in Downpatrick on Sunday, the father and son combination of Philip and Luke Dempsey was on the mark again when Persian Wind came home strongly to deny Barney King and front-runner Shamat in the Supermac’s Ballinrobe Handicap Hurdle.
“He made hard work of it,” admitted the winning trainer,
“He’s small, but he’s gutsy. And Luke doesn’t miss an opportunity when he gets it. We’ll probably step him up in trip soon enough and try him with a lighter weight. He’s entered for Tramore later in the week, but I’m not sure where he’ll go next.”
Francis Flood enjoyed a welcome success when Ger Fox partnered 11/1 shot Buachaill Maith to an all-the-way success in the J J Burke Peugeot Maiden Hurdle, in which favourite Licklighter (rider Tony Kelly was removed for shoulder x-rays) crashed at the second last when travelling strongly on the heels of the leaders.
“We haven’t been able to run him much because he’s had little bits of niggly stuff, including a cracked pelvis,” explained Fran Flood.
“I suppose we got a bit of help with the fallers, but it’s great to win with him. He likes that ground and should jump a fence.”