Fastorslow gained a second high-profile success and emerged as a genuine contender for the biggest of honours when winning the Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase on Sunday.
The major winner at the course’s spring festival, Martin Brassil’s charge was again ridden by JJ Slevin as he made a triumphant seasonal reappearance when getting the better of the Willie Mullins-trained Appreciate It and the champion trainer’s Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Galopin Des Champs in the colours of owners Sean & Bernardine Mulryan.
Jordan Gainford rode two winners for high-flying Gordon Elliott at Cork on Sunday. The 5/2 chance Tactical Affair held on by a shorthead to win the two-mile maiden hurdle at the main expense of Henry de Bromhead’s Picture Of You while 4/7 favourite Halk Du Tabert made a fine start to her career over fences with a 20-length win in the two-mile five-furlong mares’ beginners’ chase in the colours of owner Kenny Alexander. One of the young stars of the 2023 Flat season, Conor Stone-Walsh made the ideal start to his new career as a jump jockey when taking the opportunity handicap hurdle on the Gavin Cromwell-trained Dgalwaygallivantor. He brought the Gallivantors Syndicate-owned four-year-old home a three and three-parts of a length winner from Edward O’Grady’s Housemartin, the 9/4 favourite, to record a winner on his first ride over hurdles. Sean Flanagan took the two and a half-mile handicap hurdle on the Philip Rothwell-trained Union Park. Trained for Oliver Barden by Philip Rothwell, the 12/1 chance led in the close to the finish to beat the Robert Tyner-trained Big debates by half a length.
Barry O’Neill and Shark Hanlon combined to take the three-mile amateur riders’ handicap chase, run in the memory of the late Lorna Brooke, with Dragon Rrock at the rearranged fixture at Fairyhouse on Friday. The Rachel O’Neill-owned 13/2 chance beat Gavin Cromwell’s 9/2 joint-favourite by an easy nine lengths.
Tramore – Tuesday, November 28 (First Race 12.30pm)
Dundalk – Wednesday, November 29 (First Race 3.50pm)
Thurles – Thursday, November 30 (First Race 12.10pm)
Dundalk – Friday, December 1 (First Race 5.30pm)
Fairyhouse – Saturday, December 2 (First Race 11.40am)
Fairyhouse – Sunday, December 3 (First Race 11.55pm)