CHELTENHAM Festival runner-up Magic Daze (8/15 favourite) lit up Cork on Sunday with an all-the-way 25-length win in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Beginners Chase, notching the middle leg of an across-the-card treble for trainer Henry de Bromhead.
The five-year-old finished second to stablemate Telmesomethinggirl in Cheltenham’s Mares’ Novice Hurdle in March and here, under jockey Darragh O’Keeffe, she jumped well when comprehensively beating capable opponents Darrens Hope and Sayce Gold into second and third places respectively.
De Bromhead was at Punchestown where his Fully Charged had earlier won a handicap chase and so his assistant Davey Roche reported: “Jockey and horse seemed to enjoy themselves. She has always been really good to jump, from day one, and she got that out of the way and we’re okay now.
“All ours this year are stepping forward from their first runs and she improved a lot. We’ll step up now and see where we are. Henry will talk to Robcour (Acheson family, owners) about plans but there is a graded race here (Grade 2 Lombardstown Chase) on December 5th.
“She is a good mover and probably wouldn’t want heavy ground.”
Thirty-five minutes later De Bromhead’s Gigginstown House Stud-owned Epson Du Houx (7/1) landed the Mallow Handicap Chase on his seasonal reappearance, under jockey Shane Fitzgerald.
Epson Du Houx scored by four lengths from Golden Jewel and Roche said: “I’m surprised he won first time out. He was really good and Shane (Fitzgerald) gave him a savage spin and he jumped savage for him.
“He could now go for those good handicaps and to win first time out he is probably after improving a bit and he is a lovely big horse who loves jumping.”
Dads Lad keeps up the gallop
WILLIE Mullins was on the mark with the Whitegrass Racing Syndicate-owned Dads Lad (3/1 favourite) in the Kevin McManus Bookmaker Handicap Hurdle. Ridden by Brian Hayes, Dads Lad travelled well through the race and beat Crassus by two and three-quarter lengths.
Hayes reported: “He had a nice win the last day in Sligo and today was the first day he really settled.
“Over two miles, in a proper handicap, they went a proper gallop. For his first run in a handicap he actually jumped great.”
Trainer Gordon Elliott was another to record three winners at both meetings, beginning with Gigginstown House Stud’s Hamundarson’s win, under Luke Dempsey, in the I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle.
The 100/30 shot was over-turning 30/100 favourite Minella Crooner, overhauling that rival before the last and scoring by two and three-quarters lengths. Elliott, later successful with Mr Fred Rogers and Sassy Yet Classy, was at Punchestown, and afterwards Dempsey said: “He did it nicely and picked up well from the back of the second last. I wanted to have one go at the favourite and when I pulled him out to challenge he quickened well for me. He is a fine big horse and will definitely love a fence.”
Lucky Max (7/2 favourite) completed consecutive wins in the Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Hurdle, scoring for trainer Sean Doyle, owner Donnchadh Doyle and jockey Jack Foley.
A winner at Clonmel previously, the German-bred gelding won eased down from Capture The Action.
Trainer Doyle said: “He won very well and stepped forwards loads, having had a good blow at Clonmel.
“Jack said he was still plenty green and would improve again. It is great for Jack who did a year with us when he was young and didn’t get many chances point-to-pointing but is a chap with a big future ahead of him.”
THE I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Beginners Chase was won by the Robert Tyner-trained Queen Jesse Jay (4/1), for owner Brendan Keogh and under jockey Philip Enright.
Tyner said: “It was a nice, even, competitive race. She jumped well and seems to have taken well to fences.
“She is fit but not as fit as she looks as she is a big, narrow, light-framed mare and we are always nursing her to keep the condition she has.”
The biggest-priced winner was 22/1 chance Mythical Hero in the opening Buy Tickets At corkracecourse.ie Maiden Hurdle, scoring for trainer Mags Mullins and jockey Tommy Brett.
The son of Soldier Of Fortune was making his jumps debut and battled well when challenged by North Of Dakota on the run-in, to score by a neck.
Mullins later reported: “He is a tough horse. While he isn’t a giant, he’s not tiny either.
“He had a good run in a bumper but was a typical four-year-old and went a bit flat. He is flying since he came back in and had plenty schooling done.
“I’m delighted for Tom and Mary (Furlong) who are lucky owners, which makes a big difference!”