Shaneshill stylish on hurdling debut
Last year’s Irish Champion Bumper winner Shaneshill made a very pleasing start to his hurdling career today at Fairyhouse, jumping smoothly in the main before bounding clear to record a facile victory under Ruby Walsh. Having been keen from the off on his first start since his big Punchestown win in April, Walsh attempted to settle his mount in behind the pace being set by Luckynumberslevin.
The exciting 5yo, who was left as the 7/1 favourite for Cheltenham’s Neptune Novices Hurdle in the aftermath, eventually settled into a rhythm, before easing through to the lead before the second last. Walsh never had to move a muscle as Shaneshill pulled clear easily to record an eased down 4 length win.
Trainer Willie Mullins said: “Given his bumper form he is entitled to do that. I’m very pleased with him. I thought he jumped very well apart from the third last.
“He could go back to two miles as he’s not short of speed and he’s certainly not restricted to any one trip. For his pedigree he handled the ground really well I thought. All in all, you’d have to be pleased with the way he did things.”
Just thirty minutes earlier on the card, Mullins had watched another of his exciting Novice Hurdlers make an impressive winning debut over timber in the form of Outlander. The Gigginstown owned 6yo, a winner of three of his four bumpers, has obviously had some problems in the past but was a very convincing winner on his belated hurdling debut here under Bryan Cooper.
Cooper said of the winner: “He was one of the better horses back in 2013 and he missed a year but hopefully he can come on for that. I was very happy with him and he quickened well from the last.”
By Kevin Walsh / Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Archive
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