Identity Thief made all to land the Grade 2 WKD Hurdle in Down Royal, part of doubles for trainer Henry de Bromhead and rider Bryan Cooper and middle leg of a treble for Gigginstown House Stud.
Having his first outing since the Punchestown Festival, the Kayf Tara dictated the pace and jumped well, with the exception of the final flight, to justify 15/8 favouritism at the expense of Whiteout.
“He did it the hard way and Bryan gave him a super ride,” stated de Bromhead, who completed his double with The King Of Brega (Andrew Lynch) in the Robinson Services Handicap Chase: “I must talk to the O’Learys, but I’d imagine he’ll stay hurdling this season. We might look at the Hatton’s Grace next, over two and a half miles and we might find a route to the Champion Hurdle.”
Bryan Cooper had initiated his double for Gigginstown when Cogryhill, the 2/7 favourite, made all to beat debutant stable-companion Eventsec Maiden Hurdle.
Trainer Gordon Elliott described Cogryhill as “a big chaser in the making” and noted: “He was green in front and did a lot of ducking and diving – he needed some company.”
The five-year-old Cape Cross mare, ridden by Luke Morris, forged clear inside the final furlong to beat Façade by three lengths, prompting her partner to explain: “She has been a great servant and she’s retired after tonight. She’s a very smart listed filly and won at this level in Goodwood back in May.”
Birchwood began to stay on well for James Doyle and Richard Fahey, but Moore could be spotted weaving his way through on the unbeaten War Front colt and once he engaged top gear there was an inevitable look to the outcome.
He got up to win narrowly but cosily, with Airoforce just edging out Birchwood for second.
O’Brien’s Alice Springs finished second to Catch A Glimpse in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf
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