Charles Byrnes and Dermot McLoughlin shared the training honours at Leopardstown yesterday on a day when Gordon Elliott was among the trainers to work Cheltenham hopefuls after racing.
Byres completed a first and last race brace with Wajaaha and Run For Oscar while McLoughlin struck with Lee Valley legacy and Turbojet.
“He deserved that after the last day, when jockey-error cost him the race, but he didn’t make the same mistake again,” said Byrnes following the impressive victory of 15/8 favourite Run For Oscar, a second winner in the saddle for his teenage son Philip, in the bumper, the Club 30 Membership Flat Race.
Beaten at Thurles last time, the five-year-old Oscar gelding came form off the pace, travelled sweetly into the lead before the furlong-pole and drew clear to beat long-time leader Alko Rouge by seven and a half lengths.
“I thought it was a good performance on that ground,” added Byrnes. “I think he’s a nice horse. That ground wasn’t ideal for him. I’d say he wants good ground and he might even run on the Flat during the summer.”
After the opener Byrnes explained: “He’s a bit temperamental – he looks good when he gets things his own way and that’s what happened today,” after his Wajaaha (Cathal Landers) proved a facile winner of the opening Kids Go Racing Handicap Hurdle, beating MuhaafiZ by four lengths.
Always traveling strongly, Wajaaha jumped into the lead two from home and won readily. Byrnes added: “He went a bit sour on the Flat and is better off over hurdles. He ran a nice race the last day in Naas and came forward a bit from it. We’ll tip away in handicap hurdles with him.”
Dermot McLoughlin shared the training honours, saddling a 65/1 double with Lee Valley Legacy and Turbojet.
Having his second run over fences and left in front when favourite Discordantly crashed six from home, Turbojet captured the Leopardstown Family Day Beginners Chase in good style, beating Half The Odds by eleven lengths and giving rider Adam Short his second win in as many days.
McLoughlin stated: “He’s a fair horse when he gets it together. He won his maiden hurdle in Listowel and was starting to struggled in handicaps. So this was the obvious road to go with him.
“I was happy with him. His jumping was very good and Adam felt he was in front way too soon, when the other horse fell.
“We have no big plans for him, but he might go for a novice handicap at Fairyhouse over Easter.”
Earlier, Lee Valley Legacy (Paddy O’Hanlon) ran out a thirteen lengths winner of the three-mile TRI Equestrian Handicap Hurdle, powering clear in the straight to slam top-weight and favourite Cherif De L’isle.
“She’s a grand little filly, a hardy little one,” declared McLoughlin. “Paddy said she just kept going, kept picking up and saw it out better than the others.”
Front-running tactics employed by Denis O’Regan paid off on the John Queally-trained Arcadian Sunrise in the Connolly’s Red Mills Irish EBF Auction Novice Hurdle, the six-year-old’s second win in the series.
The six-year-old, pressed all the way by Barnaviddaun and David Mullins, pulled out plenty in the straight to keep that rival at bay by three lengths, the pair finishing twenty-three lengths clear of British raider Scardura.
“He’s a grand horse and jumps for fun – he’ll make a nice chaser in time,” said Queally, who trains the Arcadio gelding for his wife Miriam, “He’s been busy and deserves a bit of a break.”