Gordon Elliott's Flaxen Flare made a winning start to his jumping career with a smart display in the Paddy Power On Your Mobile 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle at Leopardstown.
Hot favourite Diplomat moved smoothly rounding the home turn, but fluffed his lines at the final flight and Flaxen Flare (11/1) quickened up best on the flat. Davy Condon's mount came home two and a quarter lengths ahead of outsider Ibsen, with Diplomat well held. Call Me Bubbles was the disappointment of the race.
Elliott said: "We always thought he was nice and he beat Diplomat in a schooling race at Fairyhouse. It's hard to really fancy one in these three-year-old hurdle races as they can be a bit rough and ready. We have been quite lucky with three-year-old hurdlers. He is probably not as fast as Shadow Catcher but he might keep going a bit better."
Supporters of odds-on favourite Mumbo Jumbo were made to sweat before he eventually got on top close home to win the Paddy Power Maiden Hurdle.
The Margaret Mullins-trained dual bumper winner was a 4-6 favourite having been narrowly beaten on his hurdling bow and was sent straight into the lead by the trainer's son, Danny Mullins. He led until the home turn, when he was passed by Celtic Cailin, but Mullins appeared happy to bide his time.
It almost backfired at the final flight as the smooth-travelling Mumbo Jumbo got in tight, which handed his rival the initiative. But he picked up for pressure on the run-in and was good value for his length-and-a-half victory.
The winning trainer said: "He was just beaten in Listowel and Barry (Connell, owner) wanted to come back here with him. He is a nice horse and it has worked out well. We will find a winners-of-one race for him now."
The mother and son combination went on to complete a double as 12-1 shot Cairdin made every yard of the running in the Paddy Power Handicap Hurdle.
The six-year-old was fitted with blinkers for the first time and galloped along merrily at the head of affairs. The challengers were queuing up to have a pop at him rounding the home turn, but Cairdin then kicked clear and skipped over the final flight to seal a four-and-a-quarter-length verdict over Forty Foot Tom.
Margaret Mullins said: "I'm delighted with the horse. We put the blinkers on him today as he just looks around a bit and it's great that it came right for him. It's great for Danny too, it's great to have your own doing it! I don't give him instructions, I just leave it to him."
20 December 2014Henderson pleased with big guns
Mulholland serves up Master-class
Bayan bags big Ascot prize
Broadway proves a show-stopper
Three Long Walks for super Sivola
Queen wears Listed crown
Nicholls strikes with Saint
Sceaux puts in impressive show
Silvi the star turn in King George
Sceaux puts in impressive show
Geraghty enthused by Bobs work
Walsh pain at Vautour defection
Billy puffing his chest out again
Master back in the spotlight
Grugy in line to start cantering
Newland seeks more from Re
Prize money boost in HRI initiative
Zig zips to impressive victory
New steroids policy delayed
Serge states Supreme case
Exciting Sceaux out at Fairyhouse
Firebird skips National service
19 December 2014Martin readying big guns
Hobbs on Garde at Ascot
Fry excited by Activial chance
The New One in Haydock return
Reve camp not expecting a hat-trick
King issues Chatez Triumph warning
Bolger searching for Mossey key
King weighs up Karezak options
Henderson hoping Bobs makes Lexus
Simonsig camp play the long game
In-form Mole buries Exeter rivals
Sedgefield hit with heavy fine
Star names check in for Ryanair
Bobs revved up for Lexus repeat
Knott disqualified for three years
Geraghty braced for power Serge
Geraghty excited by Josses return
Activial stars in Ladbroke field
18 December 2014Alvarado back for National service
Winner given Lexus go-ahead
Cheltenham dreams for King's Zero
Sivola bids for Long Walk hat-trick
Power plan uncertain for Westener
Kauto pleases in Olympia display
Mullins eyes twin assault on Lexus
Value oozes class in Newbury romp
Annie Power on road to recovery
Spencer strikes after U-turn
Vautour ready for next jumps test
Mullins banks on Faugheen progress
Victory set to skip Ladbroke
Mullins: Fever can go the distance
17 December 2014Sidelined Brian misses Whittle
Sceaux to sidestep Haydock raid
Square season derailed by injury
Lexus a non-starter for Clouds
Europe return hinges on ground
Injury woe for Cookson
Plans on hold for Topper
Appeal success for Russell/Enright
Mulholland makes Master plan
Cango makes Catterick impression
Field sizes under BHA microscope
Quinn outlines Aurore options
Legal laying down the law at Ludlow
Ground dictates Attaglance plans
King heartened by Walkon return
Cross set Christmas conundrum