Bryan Cooper, who returned to action after a six-month absence in Limerick on Sunday, was back in the winner’s enclosure when Lord Scoundrel, in the colours of Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud, captured the opening irishinjuredjockeys.com Maiden Hurdle in Punchestown yesterday.
Cooper shattered a leg when Clarcam fell in the Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last March and has endured a long road back to race-riding.
Sent to the front turning for home, 13/8 favourite Lord Scoundrel was a little deliberate at the final flight and was headed briefly on the run-in before rallying to triumph by a half-length.
Cooper commented: “He’s a grand horse and won a little snug in the finish. I’s great to be back in the winner’s enclosure and great to get the first winner back for the boss.”
And, having saddled the first leg of his treble, Elliott commented: “He’s a nice horse and likes that trip and we’ll try to find a novice for him somewhere. It’s nice to give Bryan his first winner back — he broke his leg off one of ours in Cheltenham.”
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