Mark Walsh had his mount front rank from the outset and he jumped and travelled well throughout.
He looked set for a comfortable success as he turned for him still going best, but Walsh had to get somewhat serious with him to see off a game effort from Take The Cash and Dillon Maxwell.
“He jumped great for Mark today, and seemed to enjoy being out in front,” said Mary Tyner. “Everything seemed to go right for him, and he just seemed to love it there today. He was unlucky in Thurles the last day, when he came down at the last, and got a bad fall. But he got there today, and we’ll look for something similar for him for next time.”
There was some unwanted drama in the opening race, the Follow Limerick On Facebook Maiden Hurdle, when easy-to-back favourite Falak, trained by Gordon Elliott, appeared to clip heels with a rival, which resulted in him crashing to the ground and bringing down stable-companion Isle Of Destiny.
Thankfully, both horses and jockeys were fine, but the incident left the strong-travelling All Good Things to complete an all-the-way victory under jockey Cathal Landers.
There was better luck for the Elliott team in the second race, the Follow Limerick On Twitter Maiden Hurdle, in which even-money favourite Kuraka made all the running for a comfortable victory.
With numerous runners seemingly reluctant to set the pace, jockey Denis O’Regan jumped off in front aboard the favourite and controlled the race thereafter.
Trump Sixteen also benefited from a positive ride when taking the Panoramic Restaurant Handicap Hurdle under Danny Hand. The Steve Mahon-trained six-year-old travelled well and always looked to have matters under control.
“He was a big baby last year and just needed time,” said the winning trainer. “He made a bit of a noise here at Christmas and so had a wind operation.
We fancied him a bit this evening but he’s more of a two-and-a-half-mile horse, and Danny was supposed to hold him up a bit. But he did the right thing as there was no pace, and he switched off as he’s a lovely, gentle horse. I know he’ll come on from that run but whether Punchestown is too soon I don’t know.
Although he had top weight to carry in the Patrickswell Hurdle, over three miles, Perfect Man wasn’t without his supporters (40-1 early, to 16-1) and he produced a determined effort under 7lb claimer Trevor Ryan.
After back-to-back victories in February 2017, his form tailed off, but this represented a return to form for the Pat Hurley-trained seven-year-old, who picked up really well to beat Nerual by two and a half lengths.
In the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares’ Beginners’ Chase, there was plenty of morning and afternoon support for Lakemilan and, while her task was made easier by the departure of favourite Moonlight Escape, who unseated her rider at the third-last, she won with plenty to spare and may well have justified her support, regardless.
Ridden confidently by Donie McInerney, she made rapid progress around the final bends to get to long-time leader Zipporah, and thereafter had little trouble seeing off th opposition.
“She did that well and I suppose when the favourite fell it was a help,” said O’Brien. “She’ll mix it over the summer and it would be great to get a bit of black type with her. I think she can improve again and she’s easy enough to train as you don’t have to do a lot with her. She’s a light-framed mare and will go on good ground too.”
Local trainer Charles Byrnes saddled his seventh bumper winner of the season and 12th winner since the turn of the year when Alpine Cobra took the finale, the Twilight Racing 2018 INH Flat Race, under Ray Barron.
While not the subject of a gamble, he had his supporters, and rewarded them with a return of 6-1 when finding plenty to beat the Willie Mullins-trained pair, Small Farm and Southern Nights.
Byrnes said: “He’s after two decent runs, and the two-mile-three seemed to suit him. He’s by Scorpion and I’d say he would go on a slightly better ground, so he could be kept on the go for the first half of the summer.”