Gordon Elliott double spearheads Irish Perth treble
Irish-trained horses enjoyed another successful day at Perth yesterday when The Banastoir, Pumped Up Kicks and Callaghy Beauty combined to better the raiders' brace a day earlier.
Gordon Elliott's Pumped Up Kicks (9/2) took a crashing fall at the first fence on her chasing debut at the picturesque Scottish venue on Wednesday, but she showed no ill effects when switched back to the smaller obstacles in a novices' handicap hurdle 24 hours later.
Stepping up to three miles for a first time, the dual point-to-point-winning Flemensfirth mare travelled strongly under Richard Johnson before drawing decisively clear in the straight to record her first track success.
Elliott went on to bring his tally for the two-day festival to three when Callaghy Beauty swooped late under Sean Bowen in a dramatic finish to the bumper.
The four-year-old overcame her inexperience to prevail at 10/1 on her debut to complete Elliott's 59.5/1 double, and secure an immediate return on the modest €1,000 that Elliott paid for her only last August. Earlier, The Banastoir had improved on its debut fifth at the course last month to take the maiden hurdle for Larne handler Stuart Crawford and James Reveley.
Fifth was also the best the Presenting five-year-old had managed in four point-to-point starts, but he stepped up markedly here to lead home a clean sweep of the first four places for Irish-trained horses at odds of 15/2.
All of the card's five other winners also had an Irish connection, with Rose Dobbin, wife of Co Down-born former Grand National-winning jockey Tony, securing a 14/1 double with Politeness and Robin's Command.
Fergal O'Brien and Paddy Brennan combined to take the handicap chase in emphatic style with Me And Ben (5/1), while the Jackie Stephen-trained Mo Rouge obliged at the same odds in the conditional jockeys' hurdle under Abhenry native Tony Kelly.
At Haydock, meanwhile, John Gosden's Faydhan emerged as a possible Classic contender after making an impressive debut in the six-furlong maiden. Owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, the colt was introduced as 16/1 favourite for the English 2,000 Guineas with BetVictor when overcoming plenty of greenness.
The $500,000 son of War Front had been expected to run a big race and was supported to do so, being sent off the 10/11 favourite. And he did not disappoint, despite being slowly away and showing his inexperience under Paul Hanagan. He was going further away at the line as he bolted up by six lengths from the race-fit Dutch Connection.
"He's a big baby, he even jumped the road, but he has a great temperament," Hanagan said. "I was pleased. He's got plenty of scope, he'll get seven furlongs but it's still early days. I'll have a chat with Mr Gosden and the boss (Sheikh Hamdan) and see what they say."
Faydhan holds an entry in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes at York on August 23.
Lieutenant Kaffee (4/1) looked a promising staying two-year-old when giving Hanagan a double in the EBF Novice Stakes. Market rivals Epithet and Diaz shaped to fight out the finish but they appeared to cut their own throats and Hanagan produced the Richard Fahey-trained colt with a decisive late move.
The Nottingham debut scorer got on top to defeat Diaz by three-quarters of a length. Hanagan completed his 51/1 treble on Roger Varian's Ejadah (9/2) in the Sheikh Hamdan colours in the fillies' handicap.
Trainer Mark Johnston and jockey Joe Fanning shared a short-priced double with favourites Watersmeet (15/8) and Alex My Boy (4/6).