“HE looks like another one that Dad has found and turned into something not too bad,” declared David Christie junior after Au Fleuron (2/1 – 9/4) ran out the impressive winner of the novice rider’s open on his first start for the Derrylin stable of his father and namesake.

It was hard to disagree with the assessment after the Crillon-sired seven-year-old had turned the eight-runner contest into a procession from the exit of the back straight, as despite having failed to make any impression in two starts over fences on the track for Gordon Elliott, he looked an altogether different prospect here.

Guided by 17-year-old Shane Cotter, who was having his first ride for the top stable, the pair left the previous weekend’s Knockanard victor De Nordener very much trailing in their wake, with the Ray Nicholas and Dr Sam Campbell-owned bay coasting to a comprehensive 16-length success.

“It was his first run for a while, so we just wanted to see where we were at. The second horse had won last weekend, so it was a good benchmark,” Christie junior added. “Today was a learning exercise to see where we were with him fitness-wise, and I would say he will stay in opens for now and see where we are after that.”

Geldings’ Maidens

Good things are also expected of Additional Time (3/1) after he took a notable step forward from his Boulta debut last November, to land a strongly-run five-year-old geldings’ maiden.

Brian Lawless cruised into contention along the back, and a significant change of gears from two-out saw him stamp his authority on proceedings, as he accounted for the eye-catching debutant Moylussa by six lengths.

“He had one run in Boulta, but he wasn’t right after it,” Ballycrystal owner-handler Matthew Flynn O’Connor noted. “He is a lovely horse, so hopefully, he will roll on to the sale now in a few weeks’ time, and we will see how we get on.”

There was further success for Wexford connections when Kerlogue (3/1 co-favourite), the only newcomer among the eight runners in the older geldings’ maiden, belied his inexperience to supply Vincent Devereux with his initial success of the season.

Confidently handled by Shane O’Rourke, the Kayf Tara gelding had enough up his sleeve to account for an improved Mon Meilleur Ami by two lengths at the line, and the James Devereux-owned bay is now likely to be sold.