FRENCH Made reversed Cheltenham form to land the spoils in the Grade 2 Rathberry & Glenview Studs Juvenile Hurdle at Fairyhouse.
The Willie Mullins-trained filly had finished behind Gardens Of Babylon and Coeur Sublime when eighth in the Triumph Hurdle on what was only her second start over jumps.
Having learnt from that experience, French Made (6/1) knuckled down at the business to end to score by half a length from Gardens Of Babylon, the pair pulling 14 lengths clear of Coeur Sublime.
Great finish - French Made (Willie Mullins/Ruby Walsh) was behind Pentland Hills in the Triumph last time and just holds on in the Grade 2 @RathbarryStud Juvenile Hurdle at @Fairyhouse— Racing TV (@RacingTV) April 22, 2019
Results ? https://t.co/glajGV55GR pic.twitter.com/uBdBBTNgO7
“I was hoping that we might get her placed today,” said Mullins. “Chatting to Ruby before the race, we both thought she stayed and I said ‘if you can get her to jump over the first few hurdles and be up there in the first three’.
“Her form in France showed that she was always staying on and it looked like she wanted a further trip.
“That was the plan and we were hoping she’s stay on to be third or fourth, but she stayed on to win.
“She’s tough and obviously doesn’t need a lot of training because she’s just naturally fit I’d say.
“That opens a lot of doors. We’ll look at Punchestown and she’s one that will definitely go back to France for the meetings in May and June.”
Paddy Kennedy got The Holy One home just ahead of his brother Jack on Kuiper Belt in the Farmhouse Foods Novice Handicap Hurdle and then had to survive a stewards’ inquiry.
The Holy One (20/1) took over the lead from Licklighter after the third-last flight, but was hard-pressed on the run-in and Jessica Harrington’s six-year-old was all out to hold on by a neck, with Jon Ess half-a-length away.
“He drifted out a bit, but Paddy said that if he had pulled his stick through he would have hit the other horse,” said Harrington.
“He battled well and I’m delighted with him. I don’t know if the ground was just a bit too sticky for him or what happened in Limerick last time.
“He loves that good ground and he’ll head on to Punchestown now.”
Bottom-weight Maeve’s Choice stuck on well for Bryan Cooper to keep Spades Are Trumps at bay by three-quarters of a length as Matthew Smith’s gelding followed up a recent Ballinrobe success.