JUMP racing’s return to Naas for the first time since March belonged to Rachael Blackmore as the jockey bagged the first four-timer of her career which was headed by a victory aboard Henry de Bromhead’s Captain Guinness in the Grade 3 Poplar Square Chase.
Last season’s Arkle third, who was undone by his jumping on a few occasions last term, returned in good heart to justify 6/5 favouritism. As the second last fence loomed the Declan Landy-owned winner eased past Andy Dufresne and soon moved into a decent lead. The latter stuck to his task but was still almost five lengths adrift at the line.
“He settled well which is important. We’ve always thought he was a brilliant jumper and it was just unfortunate what happened a few times last season,” remarked the trainer. “He could now head to Leopardstown at Christmas but if he did run before then he would have the option of either the Tingle Creek or the Hilly Way at Cork.”
De Bromhead also supplied Blackmore with the concluding leg of her four-timer as Mr Incredible somehow pulled victory out of the fire in the Mongey Communications Beginners Chase over just short of two and a half miles.
The Stephen McCarthy-owned 11/10 favourite looked well held in fifth facing up to the last two fences but Mr Incredible came with a relentless charge after the last and, with the company of two loose horses on his outer, he overhauled Indiana Jones as the line loomed.
The two-and-a-quarter-length winner was having his first outing since landing a maiden hurdle here last January. There was plenty of drama at the third fence here as a total of five horses exited, but happily horses and riders emerged unscathed.
“Rachael said he suddenly took off after the second last. He’s a funny horse at home so we haven’t done much, but he would strike me as a stayer,” remarked the trainer.
The other legs of Blackmore’s four-timer were supplied by Joseph O’Brien and Gigginstown House Stud and the first of these came with Uhtred (4/9) in the BetVictor Maiden Hurdle over two miles.
This formerly high-class bumper horse, who picked up good experience by contesting two quality novice hurdles last spring, made much of the running and fought off Prevaricate on the run-in to prevail by two and a quarter lengths. There should be a good deal more to come from this six-year-old in the coming months.
The rider and Joseph O’Brien struck with another quality bumper horse in Eric Bloodaxe (5/4) in the BetVictor Irish EBF Maiden Hurdle over two miles and three furlongs.
A really promising dual bumper winner a couple of seasons ago but restricted to just two runs in just under two years, this son of Saint Des Saints shaped up well here. The six-year-old asserted in fine style in the closing stages to run out a comfortable eight-length winner over Supreme Jet to look a staying novice hurdler of some substance.
FOR the second week in succession Gordon Elliott took the wraps off a four-year-old who could go a long way in the senior division as Teahupoo made short work of his rivals in the Grade 3 BetVictor Fishery Lane Hurdle.
Eight days after Zanahiyr made his successful return to action, it was the turn of this Robcour-owned gelding who won at Grade 3 level during a promising three-race campaign. For his comeback the 2/1 chance lined up in a field which also attracted two Cheltenham Festival winners in Quilixios and Jeff Kidder.
However, the day belonged to Teahupoo and in some style too. The son of Masked Marvel was quite happy to relinquish the lead to Quilixios early on but he regained the initiative from that rival at the second last where Autumn Evening crashed out when still holding every chance. Teaphupoo wasted no time stamping his authority on the race and quickly swept aside the Triumph Hurdle winner to score by a dozen lengths, with Jeff Kidder a further eight lengths back in third.
“That was a good performance against two of the best juveniles from last season,” said Elliott. “I always hoped that he’d be a better horse this season and that would suggest he is. I have him in the Hatton’s Grace but that may come too soon and there is the four-year-old Grade 2 at Limerick over Christmas to consider.”
The trainer later added to his haul with Altior’s younger sister Bellatior (10/11) in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race. This unraced daughter of Walk In The Park raced quite keenly in a forward position for Jamie Codd but any fears that she may have done too much through the race were allayed in the straight.
She stole through on the inner to dispute the lead with around a quarter of a mile to run and stuck to her task well to account for Kilbarry Chloe by three parts of a length.
“Considering she was quite free I really liked the way she finished her race. She is a little hot but I think she is going to be a good mare and we’ll aim towards the good mares’ races in the spring,” declared Elliott, who trains the daughter of Walk In The Park for KTDA Racing.
AFTER recording his biggest success since returning to the training ranks at Down Royal the previous week Colm Murphy bagged another good pot as Aldo The Apache made it three wins from his last four starts in the Grade B BetVictor Brown Lad Handicap Hurdle.
Fresh from a smooth win at Punchestown last month, the Room For One More Syndicate-owned gelding coped well with this marked rise in class. The Brian Hayes-ridden 10/1 chance took over from the game front-runner Minx Tiara at the last before forging clear to reach the line eight and a half lengths ahead of Jiving Jerry.
Just over an hour later, Wa Wa made it two wins from as many starts for Dermot McLoughlin in the Cavan Developments Novice Handicap Chase over two and a half miles.
The Seven Figures Partnership-owned gelding was burdened with top weight as he looked to follow up his win in a rated chase at Killarney last month, but this mattered little as he won with some ease after Bryan Cooper sent him to the front with two to jump, eventually coming home with seven and a half lengths to spare.
The 8/1 chance looks the type to land a decent pot at some point this season.