Gordon Elliott leading trainer at the track had a rare blank day on the first day of the two-day Down Time festival weekend meeting. But was he back in the winners enclosure in the first race of the second session.
Favourite, Monition and Poker D’ainay headed affairs for most of the race, however, Everybreathyoutake with Andrew Ring replacing Davy Russell travelled through smoothly to lead at the last and go clear. Assistant trainer Ian Amond said: “He probably wants that trip I suppose or even a bit further… he stays going very well. You could call him the winner from two or three out so he did it well.”
The Rated Novice Hurdle developed into a dual between So Enjoy which attempted to make all and Song Of Namibia which led at the final flight to prevail suppling Elliott with a double, and the winner partnered by Denis O’Regan replacing Jack Kennedy another rider taken unwell the previous day. Ian Amond said: “It was a nice race to start him off and he did everything straightforward.”
Trainer, Henry De Bromhead is another regular in the winners enclosure and Hugh Morgan gave Game Present an enterprising ride when making all and landing a gamble (33s to 10/1) in the process while denying the locally -trained pair Laureate and Shortcross Storm which filled the places. Morgan said: “He did (relish the track) and he is coming on the whole time and his jumping is improving. There’s still a bit to work on but he’s getting there. Henry [de Bromhead] said to be good and positive on him and we wanted to see how he would fare.”
Morgan (22) brought his career tally to eight when registering a double supplying De Bromhead with a treble when again showcasing his talents in the Coors Hurdle on Killiney Court which was recording back to back victories in the race. The young rider again opted to make all the running and was follow home by Zoffalee. Morgan said: : “He was good there again this year. He loves it around here. He just seems to come to life when he’s up here and enjoys it – horses for courses!.”
Rachael Blackmore returned from injury the previous day and was seen to excellent advantage when scoring on Put The Kettle On to provide De Bromhead with a double. The winner of the feature made all and readily held the late challenge of the locally trained Dollys Destination in the closing stages. Blackmore said: “It’s very nice to be back. Henry’s horses are on fire at the minute, so it’s great to get back on. It has been a tough few weeks watching!”
Our Brian a previous course winner in 2016 despite lack of recent form and unraced during 2017 and 2018 proved the easy winner of the handicap hurdle having been supported from 20s to 11/2. Trained by Philip Rothwell with Ricky Doyle in the saddle the winner lead and went clear three from home for an easy victory. Doyle said: “They were quietly confident that he would run a good race. They knew he would come up the hill well, so if he was in any way with them at the last we knew we had a shout. He’ll win a few handicap chases, so he’s not done yet.”
Joseph O’Brien supplied the winner of the finale when Lady Breffni with the talented Tom Hamilton aboard proved the runaway winner as Caer stayed on late to claim second. Arbor Vitae was third and fading when stumbling and unseating rider Aaron Murphy at the two furlong marker. Hamilton said: “She’s a nice mare, she won a point-to-point well and she had a good run in a winners’ bumper in Tipperary and she stepped forward today.”