Home Farm, formerly trained by Arthur Moore, made a winning start for Henry de Bromhead when taking the Listed John Meagher Memorial Chase at Thurles yesterday.
Thick fog enveloped the track for the opening four races, but that problem was superbly solved by some quite brilliant camera work, ensuring that patrons had a far better view than could have been reasonably anticipated.
Home Farm was a strong order in the betting, joining Hidden Cyclone at the top of the market.
Hidden Cyclone tried to make all, but was headed over the third last by Home Farm. There was never much between the pair from that point, however, and they rose to the last locked together.
Hidden Cyclone crashed at the obstacle, though, and the winner was able to coast home in the hands of David Casey.
Commented de Bromhead: “David said he was a bit free through the race. He’s a lovely horse and I’m very glad to have him.
“He had a wind operation before he came and, I’d say, that has helped. I don’t know what the plan will be.”
Michael Hourigan’s Aerlite Supreme was strong in the market for the www.thurlesraces.ie Beginners Chase and the support was fully justified.
Partnered by Barry Geraghty, he led two out, after the front-running Somethingwonderful, still holding every chance, fell.
Willie Mullins’ French-import, As de Ferbet, then tried to close down the winner, but Arlite Supreme had plenty left and was soon clear.
Said Hourigan: “We will see how he is during the week, but is in the Drinmore (Fairyhouse, Sunday week) and is likely to go there.”
Hourigan and Geraghty landed a double with the impressive Drumacoo in the INH Stallion Owners’ EB Novice Hurdle.
Completing a hat-trick, the five-year-old is clearly progressing at a rate of knots. Geraghty made his move after the second last and Drumacoo stretched away to beat Couleur France.
Said Hourigan: “He will go to Limerick at Christmas and might have a run before that. He will make a lovely chaser.”
Deano, trained at Kilmichael, near Macroom, by Mary Louise Hallahan and having a first outing since March, took the Templemore Handicap Hurdle with lots in reserve.
Allowed to stride on in the straight by Davy Russell, he crossed the line comfortably clear of Rufino.
Said Ms Hallahan: “He is owned and was bred by my dad (Con) and will go for something similar, handicap-wise. He might jump a fence in the spring.”
Annamatopoeia, who chased home the useful Sheamus at Fairyhouse, cropped up at 10-1 in the Thurles Mares' Maiden Hurdle.
Trained by Brian Jordan and ridden by Andrew Lynch, the daughter of Luso edged away in the straight to score by six and a half lengths.
“She's a cracking filly, ran a right race the last day and improved from it,” reported Jordan.
Another Willie Mullins recruit from France, Valyssa Monterg, unbeaten in three bumpers in her native country, was always long odds-on, but ran no sort of race. She was in trouble a long way out and could only plug on very one paced to claim a remote third.
Mullins wasn’t having the best of days, rather unusually, but it got a little better when his 4-11 shot, Bellshill, scrambled to victory in the Bumper.
Patrick Mullins allowed the ex-point-to-pointer to stride on with a circuit to cover, but had to drive him for all he was worth in the closing stages to hold Attribution by a head.
Said Mullins: “It was hard work, at least he showed batting qualities, and will probably now go for a winners’ bumper.”
Western Promise, trained by Shane Ryder, smoothly took the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle.
Running off a rating 22lbs below his chase mark and ridden by Kevin Sexton, he kicked on off the home turn and was always holding Pocketfullapennies.
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