ISABELLAREINE is set for quick reappearance at Dundalk tomorrow following a smooth success in the featured Midland Breeders Mares Hurdle at Kilbeggan last evening, first leg of a double for talented claimer Bryan Cooper.
The Mervyn Torrens trained mare, confidently handled, swept past the flattering Red Key on the run-in to triumph by two lengths, recording her third win over hurdles.
A delighted Torrens said of the German-bred seven-year-old: “She just keeps going and is a very tough mare. She’s in at Dundalk on Sunday and, if she comes out of this race okay, she’ll go there.
“After Sunday, I’m not sure where she’ll be going, because I’m worried that the forecast is for a change in the weather. But we’ll think about jumping fences with her next year.”
Bryan Cooper followed up when guiding well-backed Coolavanny Gaffer, trained by his father Tom, to a convincing victory in the three-mile www.kilbegganraces.com Maiden Hurdle.
The former point-to-pointer, considered a real chasing prospect by his trainer, might run again, in a two-and-a-half mile handicap hurdle at Roscommon on Monday.
The Dermot Weld trained Gentleman Jeff recouped recent Galway losses when opening his account over hurdles in the opening Kilbeggan Maiden Hurdle.
Ridden by Robbie McNamara, the blinkered son of Mr.Greeley edged ahead three flights from home and, untidy at the last two obstacles, had to be driven out on the run-in to beat Betabob by a length and a half.
McNamara commented: “He’s a better horse than he has shown on the track and idled in front today. But this is what he needed, because he’s probably sick of finishing second. He’s quite a classy little horse and, hopefully, might go on from here.”
An early casualty in the handicap chase won by Alfa Beat at Galway last weekend, What’s Up Gorden bounced back in style when defying top-weight in the Moate Handicap Hurdle.
The versatile seven-year-old, ridden by 7lb. claimer, Robert Jones, had the race in safe-keeping when the Paul Carberry ridden Hesaposer came through late to get withing a length of Adrian Maguire’s charge.
Maguire said: “That should be a good confidence-booster for him after his fall in Galway. We gave him a break in July and he was fresh and well going to Galway. But he was unlucky there. He stumbled and fell, at the second.
“But he seemed to enjoy himself today and is back on track. Ideally, he wants a fence and a trip and, although the distance is a bit on the short side for him, he’ll go for a two mile, three furlong handicap chase on the Tuesday of Listowel.”
A twenty-four race maiden over hurdles and fences, the Val O’Brien-trained 7/2 joint-favourite Dream Honours finally got off the mark when making virtually all the running to win the Tullamore Handicap Chase over three miles and a furlong.
The seven-year-old, owned by Tommy Joyce, jumped soundly for David Casey and stayed on stoutly to beat Casadei by seven lengths.
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