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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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All-the-way strike for RioHeadlines
Andrew Lynch

Henry de Bromhead's talented four-year-old Sizing Rio led his rivals from start to finish in the Grade Three 'For Auction' Novice Hurdle at Navan.

Andrew Lynch sent the 4-5 favourite straight to the front in the two-mile contest and it was clear from the home turn the majority of his opponents would struggle to peg back the deficit.

There were a few moments of concern for favourite-backers, however, as Ruby Walsh conjured a dangerous-looking run out of Ted Veale between the final two flights.

But Sizing Rio went again once Walsh's mount was on his tail and was always doing enough at the finish to score by a length and a half.

De Bromhead said: "That was good and I'm delighted with it. Andrew said that he was a bit hard to get around the bends in front. He is real galloping horse and the faster they go, the better he is. He is a big, raw four-year-old and he is a real horse for the future and fences.

"We will give him a break now and probably bring him back for Leopardstown at Christmas. Hopefully there won't be a problem with him going left-handed there. He is not entered in the Royal Bond and I think he will be better on better ground."

Stan James cut Sizing Rio to 20-1 from 25-1 for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

Dessie Hughes's decent Flat performer Our Conor (8-13 favourite) made the perfect start to his career over obstacles with a comfortable victory in the Follow Navan Racecourse Facebook 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle.

Bryan Cooper was always travelling powerfully towards the head of affairs and though Casual Creeper loomed up as a danger, Our Conor soon saw off his attentions and pulled right away after winging the final flight to register an eight-and-a-half-length victory.

Hughes said: "He can jump. He schooled well from day one. He was fit and his form was good on the Flat. He handles heavy ground and I suppose it will be Christmas next for him. He is a nice three-year-old."

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