Bright New Dawn from the Dessie Hughes yard ran out a comfortable enough winner of the featured Grade2 Michael Purcell Memorial Hurdle at Thurles on Thursday however, the race was marred by the fatal fall of Venture Capital when holding every chance at the final flight.
By virtue of the fact that he has been placed at Grade1 level Bright New Dawn was sent off favourite but connections of Venture Capital were also expecting a big run.
As usual Rory O’Moore was soon at the head of affairs but was sending out distress signals going to three from home where Bright Mew Dawn moved into contention.
Rider Davy Russell sent the latter to the front off the home turn and he was soon joined by Venture Capital.
A thrilling climax looked on the cards until Venture Capital creased out at the last hurdle leaving Bright New Dawn with a clear advantage which he maintained all the way to the line where he had three lengths to spare over Mala Beach.
From my vantage point it appeared that Venture Capital was travelling equally as well as Bright New Dawn and it was going to be a close encounter.
This was dreadful luck on trainer Philip Fenton and rider Brian O’Connell as Venture Capital was an exciting young horse and will be difficult to replace.
Winning handler Dessie Hughes told me that he felt his charge was idling a little and would have pulled out plenty but that is something that we will never know.
Fairyhouse at Easter followed by Punchestown is the plan but the son of presenting will change codes and go chasing in the Autumn.
Denis Hogan was another who had the misfortune to lose one of his runners when Missgiloney took q heavy fall at the second last in the opening mares beginners chase over two mile and two.
Victory went to Carrig Millie from the Michael Cullen stable which was the first leg of a three timer for jockey Davy Russell. never too far out of her ground the daughter of Milan came down the far rail in the straight and a brilliant leap at the final fence saw her land in the lead which she extended all the way to the line where had a length and a half to spare from Chasing Shadows.
In his post race remarks Cullen who was having his first winner in almost a year revealed that he is looking towards the Grade3 Dawn Run Chase at Limerick next week which would give the mare valuable blacktype for when she retires to the breeding paddocks.
Russell completed his hat-trick when joining forces with Willie Mullins to capture the older horses maiden hurdle courtesy of Raise hell. A 250,000 Euro purchase as a 3.y.o. the Presenting has a long way to go before recouping that outlay but at least he has made a start. He has been consistent without setting the world on fire and he deserved to open his account in what was an ordinary enough contest.
Never out of the leading group Raise Hell led before the halfway point but was joined by his main market rival Mr Cosmopolitan at the penultimate hurdle.
There was precious little between the pair jumping the last but Russell’s mount found that little extra on the run-in to score by three and a half lengths. an own brother to the high class but ill-fated bumper horse Lovethehigherlaw the winner has a preference for better ground and will be kept on the go for the summer months.
Danny Mullins repaid the first instalment of his new retainer with owner Barry Connell when he gave Mount Benbulben a peach of a ride to take the two mile and two conditions.
A dual bumper respectable novice hurdler winner the eight year old has been let down by his jumping since tackling fences so this clear round will do his confidence no harm at all.
Mullins was content to stalk the leaders in an effort to get his mount into a rhythm before sending him clear at the fence before the straight from where he drew right away to win unchallenged by eleven lengths from Lastoftheleaders.
In winning for the third time over the track Mount Benbulben showed that he likes the Tipperary air and now that he has come good connections are viewing the Power Gold cup at Fairyhouse as a possible target.
Dessie Hughes who was associated with Bright New Dawn initiated a double when Caheronaun scored a somewhat fortuitous victory in the three mile beginners chase in which we had further tragedy as the Noel Meade trained favourite He’s A Delight had to be put down after being injured early in the race.
Given a positive ride by stable jockey Bryan Cooper Caheronaun lead from after the fourth fence but her task was made easier by the departure of The Bosses Cousin at the second last and Pigeon Creek at the last before she hit the wire ten lengths to the good from Leading The Life.
Moneygall based trainer Ger Hayes is contemplating a trip to Stratford on the day before Cheltenham for Thepartysover after the Cloudings gelding cause a 14/a surprise in the handicap hurdle for lady riders over two mile.
Partnered by Aine O’Connor Thepartysover came with a tremendous rattle in the straight to lead before the last and run all the way to the line where he had a length to spare over the hot favourite Edmundo.