Robbie Power went to Powerstown Park for just one mount and made it count with a beautifully judged ride aboard Broomfields Jeremy in the feature race on the card, the Munster Rated Novice Hurdle.
Conqueredalofeurope set out to make all the running and held sway past the third-last, where the strong-travelling American challenger French Light, the prominently ridden Stand Off and Tucanae all looking to have leading claims.
However, Power had other ideas. Having ridden a particularly patient race aboard Philip Dempsey’s horse, he played his hand last of all. In front over the second-last, he quickened sharply over the last to put 12 lengths between himself and French Light, with two noses separating him from Conqueredalofeurope and Stand Off.
Said Power: “He’s won nicely. It was my first time riding him and Philip told me going out to drop him out and get him switched off, and to be fair to him he settled very well. We didn’t go very quick and he had every reason to be keen. It was impressive in the end. He’s a horse that will jump a fence in time, when Philip wants to go down that route. He’s got a lot of scope, so there’s a lot to look forward to, hopefully.”
Magic Daze had little trouble justifying odds-on favouritism in the Kilsheelan Mares’ Maiden Hurdle. Sent off so short on the back of a point-to-point win and promising first run on the track behind Gaillard Du Mesnil, Henry de Bromhead’s was keen early but jumped well for Rachael Blackmore, who held her together down the hill for the final time before sending her clear once more to win quite readily. Her dam line goes back to Fairy Blaze who produced numerous high-class sorts, most notably Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Kicking King.
Capodanno was well backed just before the off of the Monroe Maiden Hurdle and Willie Mullins’ horse justified that support with plenty to spare. Never much worse than in a share of the lead, Mark Walsh rode a confident race as he let the challengers stack up before asking his mount to stretch clear late on to beat market rival Dunboyne by seven lengths.
Quarry Lil ran out a game winner of the Lisronagh Handicap Hurdle. Gary Noonan made all the running aboard Paul O’Flynn’s mare and, despite some concerns about the testing ground, she proved too good for her rivals.
Said Thomas O’Flynn, father of the winning trainer: “She won in Killarney on good ground and won her point to point in Carrigtwohill, which was good ground as there happened to be a smashing week before it. Today was a worry that it wouldn’t be suitable for her, but her dam was super on bad ground, you couldn’t get it bad enough for her, but she (Quarry Lil) is totally different.”
It was a red-letter day for Waterford trainer John Flavin, who saddled the winner of the Tipperary Handicap Hurdle with his first runner since taking over the licence off his father, Pat. His gelding, Street Value, eventually came home clear of nearest rival Knock Na Rea, but winning jockey Hugh Morgan admitted it was not plain sailing.
“In the end he won nicely, thankfully, but everywhere he was just struggling,” said Morgan. “I thought they just went a nice gallop, and I was trying to keep him someway in his comfort zone and give him a chance that he could still win, but at the same time minding him. It was only at the end of the hill that he started going. I was just trying to nurse him as best I could.
“We were hopeful of a big run today and thankfully it paid off, and it’s great to ride John’s first winner.”
Mick Winters’ fine run continued with Damut winning the Jossestown Handicap Chase. It was hard work in the end but the top weight, ridden by Darragh O’Keeffe, dug very deep to deny Carnet De Stage by three parts of a length.
There was a fine finish to the card in which Templebredin made most of the running to win the Rathronan Maiden Hunters Chase. Pa King let three challengers loom up in the straight before asking his mount to go on again racing to the last. However, he got a little tired in the closing stages and Saint Benedict rallied. What looked likely to be a comfortable success turned out to be a desperate scramble for the line but, to the credit of Sam Curling’s winner, he battled gamely for a head success.