The Gordon Elliott-trained Discoteca was an impressive winner of the Tipperary Water 4-Y-0 Hurdle at Ballinrobe last night, slamming odds-on favourite Darroun to provide champion jockey Davy Russell with the second leg of a double.
A Nayef gelding, owned by Gigginstown House Stud, Discoteca stepped-up on his maiden win at Cork’s Easter meeting, travelling sweetly and jumping exuberantly before Russell seized the initiative after the second last. And Discoteca soon stretched clear to triumph by seven and a half lengths.
Favourite-backers had cause for concern from an early stage as Darroun, unplaced in a Grade 3 event in Auteuil just over a week ago, made the running but Ruby Walsh was nudging his mount along from an early stage before capitulating when headed and outpaced by the winner.
In the absence of trainer Elliott, believed to be in England for the Doncaster Sales, Russell said: “The better ground made a big difference to him and he jumped exceptional. It was obvious early that the favourite didn’t handle the track. I took my time and decided to put it to bed early, after the second last.
“He’s a grand, progressive horse. We should have some fun with him over the summer.”
Earlier, the Russell-ridden Lean Times, trained locally by Mick Flannery, made all and repelled all challengers to justify 3/1 favouritism in the Mulholland Bookmakers Maiden Hurdle, scoring by a length and a quarter from Flaming Hymn
Flannery declared: “Noel Meade did all the training of this horse — I only have him seven or eight weeks. So I won’t take any of the kudos for the win, although I was a bit afraid of the ground.”
Declan McDonogh stated: “He was the highest-rated horse in the race and making use of him helped, because he stays well,” after 76-rated Jimtown ran out a convincing, four-and-a-half lengths winner of the nine-furlong median auction maiden.
The Kevin Prendergast-trained gelding edged ahead with the furlongs to race before forging clear to beat Leyland emphatically. Morning gamble Curia Regis, sent off 6/4 favourite, was struggling early and finished a well-beaten fifth.
A significant drifter all day and sent off 10/11 favourite, the Dermot Weld-trained Cloudracer was readily turned over by well-backed Mojita (backed from 6/4 to even-money) in the Irish Stallion Farms Fillies Race.
Sent to the front after two furlongs by Shane ‘Dusty’ Foley, Mojito had the Pat Smullen-ridden favourite in trouble approaching the straight and kept going to score by almost four lengths.
A return to Galway, where registered his last win, at the 2010 Festival, is on the cards for Beau Michael following his victory in the opening Ladies Day 26th June Handicap.
The versatile eight-year-old, a ten-time winner for his trainer Adrian McGuinness stayed on stoutly to get the better of flattering favourite Sounds Of Thunder, prompting his trainer to declare: “He has been a very consistent horse for us. He was going to the Sales this week but I convinced the lads (the Total Recall Racing Club) to keep him. He’ll have a short break now and then we’ll head back to Galway
Summer ground brought about significant improvement in the Jessica Harrington-trained Parramatta, which landed the mares bumper convincingly from Dani Catalonia.
Nibbled in from 14/1 to 10/1, Bank The Bucks, trained outside Navan by Finbarr Hand, proved best under Bryan Cooper in the Supermacs Ballinrobe & Claremorris Handicap Hurdle.
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