A RETURN to front-running tactics paid dividends for Champ Kiely (155) as he reversed the Royal Bond form with Irish Point (153), who also improved on his Fairyhouse rating, to win the Grade 1 Lawlor’s of Naas Hurdle last Sunday.

Danny Mullins allowed his mount to stride on from flag fall, a move which saw the seven-year-old settle markedly better than was the case at Fairyhouse when he fought his pilot throughout much of the contest.

An extremely strong time figure depicts the pace to be strong from the outset in the two-and-a-half-mile contest, with the omitted hurdles likely to have contributed to the increase in the gallop.

Inevitably, the pace slackened in the closing stages as a comparison with Hunters Yarn (120+) illustrates as the maiden hurdle winner covered the final circuit slightly quicker, inclusive of a significantly faster closing sectional from the third last hurdle.

A split screen view of the two races, using the first hurdle in the home straight as a starting point, reveals the test Champ Kiely set his field as he left the ground 4.2secs in advance of his stable companion at the halfway hurdle of the circuit.

The pace increased further as the field headed towards the home turn as the gap increased to 7.4secs between the pair at the final flight in the Grade 1, which Hunters Yarn jumped as his third last hurdle.

Hunters Yarn completed his race in a rapid 64.3secs, which compares to the 69.4secs taken by Champ Kiely when adjusted for missing his final two hurdles.

However, the swing was still insufficient for the Munir & Souede-owned gelding to overhaul either Champ Kiely or Irish Point in the shortened race, although he would have only been beaten around five lengths into third.


Cadatharla (95) was a smooth winner of the extremely slowly-run handicap hurdle, although in stopping the clock for his closing sectional at 67.0secs, the five-year-old adds further credibility to the finishing speed displayed in the previous race by Hunters Yarn.

The J.P. McManus duo Dawn Rising (147) and Inonthewayurthinkin (147) fought out a private duel for the minor honours in the Grade 1, which the former won courtesy of his proven stamina.

It would be no surprise to see Joseph O’Brien step the former mentioned up in trip, while Gavin Cromwell’s gelding could switch his attention to handicaps.


Appreciate It (135+) maintained his unbeaten record over fences with another effortless victory.

Although a comparison with handicap winner Shakeytry (136) shows the 11-year-old covered the two miles 1.1secs quicker, Willie Mullins’ winner was swifter through the closing stages and over the final circuit.

In drawing clear of his field, Appreciate It covered the ground from the third last fence in 68.4secs, compared to the 68.9secs taken by Shakeytry, who was in the process of taking the upper hand on Indiana Jones (126) when the Robcour-owned gelding made a mistake at the final fence.

The difference between the two winners over the final circuit was 0.7secs.

The feature of the opening mares’ contest was the litany of jumping errors committed by the only two finishers.

The most decisive was the last fence blunder by Instit (102) which opened the door for Rachael Blackmore and Telmesomethinggirl (108) to get back up and prevail in a slow-motion finish.

Henry de Bromhead’s eight-year-old took a sluggish 77.2secs to complete her sectional, which resulted in the final circuit time being 9.4secs and 8.7secs slower than Appreciate It and Shakeytry respectively.