Donnacha O’Brien, fresh from Classic success in France, won the two juvenile maidens on last night’s card in Gowran, while jockey Gavin Ryan, who has made a great start to association with that stable, was in the plate for one and added another to complete his own double.
In the opener, O’Brien’s Southern Cape was too short for many punters to consider but the youngster, ridden by Wayne Lordan, justified his odds by keeping up to his work to deny newcomer Fourhometwo.
Ryan was in the saddle for Shale’s success in the fillies’ maiden. After a promising debut at Leopardstown, she stepped up to record an all-the-way victory and did so in the manner of a filly that will stay considerably further than this mile.
Ryan’s double came on Johnny Feane’s Hisnameis Mrdevitt in the one-mile handicap. He gave it a masterful ride to win from well off the pace last time at Limerick and, while not as dramatic this time, he was strong aboard the 11-2 chance.
In the 3yo+ fillies’ maiden over seven furlongs, Shane Foley ploughed a lone furrow down the outside into the straight aboard the Jessica Harrington-trained Maud Gonne Spirit and his mount ran on strongly to beat long-time leader Pirate Lass.
Ger Lyons’ Mr Wendell ran out a good winner of the seven-furlong maiden. Gary Carroll set out to make all and when challenged he picked up well to win going away and, post-race, the winning jockey suggested he could get a mile and two in time.
A huge gamble went astray in the first division of the Supporting The Irish Jockeys Fund Handicap, as 100-1 chance Pimpstrel made all the running to win for Leigh Roche, with Keep Believing, backed from 15-2 overnight to 5-4 favouritism, failing to figure.
Winning trainer Jarlath Fahey was the third of the Fahey brothers to win a race in the past nine days, with Paul saddling a 50-1 winner at Kilbeggan, and Peter taking the featured chase with Peregrine Run on Tuesday night at Killarney.
In the second division of the handicap, Musalsal, disappointing last time when the race may have come too soon, built on previous promise with a cosy success for Richard O’Brien and Ronan Whelan.
Bentham, who won the first of his three bumpers at Bellewstown, again showed his liking for the venue with an all-the-way success in the Intersure Group Maiden Hurdle.
Continuing the fine run of Gavin Cromwell and Jonathan Moore, he made up for his costly defeat on his return at Limerick.
Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore also continue to rack up the winners and She Tops The Lot became the latest when moving clear late on in the Hibernia Steel Products Ltd Mares’ Maiden Hurdle.
Laura Bullion made the most of her weight allowances to win the Equine MediRecord Hurdle for Noel Meade and 7lb claimer Eoin Walsh. Under a perfectly timed ride, she hit the front going to the last and kept on well to beat the game King Pellinor.
There was a huge upset in the first division of the Thanks To The Frontline Workers Handicap Hurdle when 50-1 chance Elegant Lass proved eight lengths and more too good for her rivals.
It was just as bleak for punters but not so for Tony Martin or Phillip Enright when 28-1 chance Upgraded, having his first run over hurdles since April of last year, took the second division in decisive fashion.
In the featured Seamus Mulvaney Crockafotha Handicap Hurdle, father-and-son team Martin and Conor Brassil landed the spoils with Abraham. Last year’s winner, Roi De Dubai, made a bold bid to repeat the feat but was ultimately no match for the winner in the final 100 yards.
Tiger Twenty Two moved well most of the way in the three-mile hurdle and stayed on well to win for the Gordon Elliott-Davy Russell partnership.
Trainer John McConnell, owner Caroline Ahearn and jockey Ben Harvey gained some compensation for Roi De Dubai’s earlier defeat in the feature when Hand In My Pocket made all the running to take the Champions @ Tattersalls Bumper in good style.