PERCY Warner stayed on strongly under Mike O’Connor to win the featured Kevin McManus Bookmaker Handicap Chase trainer Henry de Bromhead.

Sent off at 15/2, the Basil Holian-owned gelding led at the last before keeping on to win by a length and a quarter. Winning jockey O’Connor said: “Regardless of the race, this horse likes to be ridden this way, as he is the type of horse who needs to be warmed up. He put his head down and did it really well.

“He was full of running coming down to the second last, my fuel gauge was reading pretty full and it was just a matter of not getting there too soon.”

Conor Stone-Walsh rode his first winner over jumps when teaming up with new boss Gavin Cromwell to take the Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Hurdle with Dgalwaygallivantor.

The 11/1 winner was disputing the lead when left clear at the last flight, allowing him come home three and three-quarter lengths in front.

Stone-Walsh, a leading apprentice this season said: “I was struggling with my weight on the flat and when I had some winners left on my claim, I said I’d go jumping now. I started in Gavin Cromwell’s (today’s winning trainer) on Monday and am there every day.

“Hopefully I can build on today and ride as many winners as I can. My uncle Benny Walsh trains point-to-pointers so I’ve worked on his yard since I was 10 and I have plenty experience and I’ve always wanted to be a jump jockey.”

He added of the Gallivantors Syndicate-owned winner: “I wanted to follow the leaders so was further back than I wanted to be but we went very quick. I was never really comfortable and was always asking him for a bit more but as soon as he started passing horses and got light, he took off.

“There was room when I jumped into space at the second last and it became tight but he was going well enough to get through it.”

Favourable mark

Winning chaser Union Park exploited a much more favourable mark over flights when successful in the Cork Welcomes Racing TV Members Handicap Hurdle.

Given an excellent waiting ride by Sean Flanagan, the Oliver Barden-owned 12/1 chance was produced close home to win by half-a-length. Trainer Philip Rothwell said: “There wasn’t a suitable chase for him until Christmas but it was always the plan to go back over hurdles.

“He has won five races and Oliver and Marie are fantastic owners who leave me do my own thing - if there is a mistake made, it is due to me. The horse has built on promise and we let him improve away over fences. That has given him confidence and we are using his hurdle mark at the right time.”

Rothwell added: “We might even look at going across the water with him at some stage as I think English racing – where they go a gallop in front, will suit him.”

Double Affair for Gordon Elliott

GORDON Elliott continued his incredible recent run registering a double on the afternoon.

Tactical Affair made all the running under Jordan Gainford when successful in the opening Racing TV Black Friday Offer - Join For Just 12 Euros PM For An Entire Year Maiden Hurdle.

Carrying the now familiar colours of Caldwell Construction Ltd, the 5/2 chance just held off Picture Of You to win by a short-head.

Gainford reported: “He is a lovely horse and hopefully will come on a lot from that. He had to lead so maybe he didn’t learn as much as we wanted to and he had a good look at the last.

“It was great for him to get his head in front though. His bumper form was good but he is a fine big horse who is only a baby and is only coming into himself.”

Halka Du Tabert completed the brace for Elliott and Gainford when justifying 4/7 favouritism in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Beginners Chase.

Leading from the second fence, the Kenny Alexander-owned six-year-old was clear entering the straight, coasting home by an effortless 20 lengths.

Winning jockey Gainford said: “She was a smart mare over hurdles and was very good today. We got down to the start and she wanted to get on with the job and is entitled to come on from the run, as she was gassy and fresh.

“She will be better in a better race with a stronger gallop and will come on a lot from today. She is fine and scopey, her jumping was very good and she had a run in a point-to-point for James Doyle so had plenty of schooling done. This is a lovely starting point and hopefully she can improve.”

Willie gets it right with ‘Wrong’

CHAMPION trainer Willie Mullins also had two winners on the card, initiated by Readin Tommy Wrong in the I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle.

A well supported 8/15 favourite, the Simon Munir and Isaac Souede-owned five-year-old only just did enough to hold the strong late run of stablemate Lisnagar Fortune by a short-head.

Danny Mullins commented post race: “Some of ours are taking a run at the moment and I think he can build on that.

“Often Willie’s (Mullins) biggest problem is he has other horses in the race which can beat them but this was a nice starting point and there is plenty to build on. He jumped big over the last two and it was nice to hear his number being called - I was hoping I wasn’t beaten and in fairness the other horse (Lisnagar Fortune) has probably improved. Lisnagar Fortune was dropping back in trip which probably suited.”

Meetingofthewaters landed a significant gamble from 8/1 into evens, when completing the Mullins double in the I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Beginners Chase.

Leading after three out, the Court Cave six-year-old survived a mistake at the last fence to win readily by five and a half lengths. Winning jockey Brian Hayes said: “Patrick (Mullins, owner) owns this fella and told me he really fancied him so I checked with Philip (Fenton, trainer of unplaced Japers Jack) and he said it was okay to swap.

“Paddy thought he’d win, he had been working well and was confident coming back to a 0-116 beginners, which was a big drop in class. He was confident enough he’d do the business.

“I was behind the leader Ideal Du Tabert but I had a look behind and the others were a long way behind. I knew it was an exaggerated gap and I was happy I’d pick up the leader.

“He had a small scare at the last, that was all. I think he is entered in the (Paddy Power Chase, at Christmas) but this was a 0-116 at the end of the day.”