Davy Condon has developed a good partnership with the Gillian O’Callaghan stable in recent months and the pair struck with 20/1 chance Coldwinters in the Greville Arms Hotel Handicap Hurdle at Kilbeggan last night.
The lightly raced nine-year-old had failed to trouble the judge in four previous starts, but stayed on strongly close home to get up and deny I Never Knew That. Condon was completing a double on the card, having earlier claimed the opening maiden hurdle on the Gordon Elliott trained Cause Of Causes.
Dessie Hughes was another man in double form, the County Kildare based trainer taking the Moate Handicap Hurdle with Glenbarrow and the Mares Beginners Chase courtesy of Definite Class.
The former was well supported when failing to land the odds at Cork last time but made amends here, benefiting from the step back up in trip.
Roger Loughran soon built up a clear lead and the partnership were never headed, staying on to win comfortably by four and a half lengths from Irish Poli.
Meanwhile, Definite Class gave Bryan Cooper an armchair ride as she easily got the better of Gerdalia. Hughes said of the latter: “She was entitled to win although I didn’t think she would win that far. She is a nice mare and is a novice now for the season. She will be good over the summer and into the autumn.”
Meanwhile Fran Berry was the jockey to follow at Dundalk, teaming up with Mark Johnston and Eddie Lynam to record a double.
Van Ellis added to Johnson’s impressive record at the County Louth track when justifying odds of 1/3 in the seven furlong maiden.
Berry made all the running on the British raider and afterwards the winning pilot said: “We said we would ride Van Ellis as we found him and he broke very well, settled down and had his ears pricked. He quickened well from three furlongs out and I was surprised Johnny (Murtagh, on runner-up That Boy David) was within two lengths of me at the end. There’s a lot more improvement to come and he had a good blow afterwards.”
Berry completed his double aboard Akasaka in the iRadio Cracked i Handicap. The horse had won over the course previously but connections were experimenting with a new trip here as Lynam explained afterwards: “We ran two in the race and figured if one got the trip, we’d be in the shake up. The winner got the trip well and it’s his third win around here.”
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