Beacon Edge confirmed himself a smart prospect with victory in the Marlin Hotel Dublin, Supporting The National Breast Cancer Institute Hurdle at Galway.
Trained by Noel Meade and sent off the 10/11 favourite for the Grade 3 contest, the Sean Flanagan-ridden six-year-old tracked the mare Minella Melody for much of the journey, with the pace hotting up going to two out.
The market principals jumped it almost together, but by the final flight the Meade runner had taken command.
Flanagan was able to coast home after the last, with the margin of victory four and three-quarter lengths over Minella Melody, whose only previous defeat over hurdles had been when favourite for the mares’ novices’ hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
The Gigginstown House Stud-owned winner is now set to tackle Grade 1 company at Fairyhouse, as Meade explained.
He said: “From the first day he arrived in the yard we’ve just loved him. Michael and Eddie (O’Leary) thought he should stay over hurdles and I was happy to agree. He’s more than justified the decision now.
“They didn’t go much of a gallop there, but Sean said he was cantering at all stages.
“The Hatton’s Grace looks the obvious race for him and we’ll see how it’ll work.”
Meade and Flanagan completed a double half an hour later when Lieutenant Commander (13/8) proved too strong for Coqolino (5/4 favourite) in the two and a half mile maiden hurdle.
The Tu Va handler also reported his earlier faller on the card, Diol Ker, none the worse: “He seems okay and Sean said he was just too fresh.
“With the whole Covid thing we hadn’t got him away. Ideally we’d have brought him to Navan or somewhere for a school.”