Harrington's Modem more than a 'match' for Punchestown rival
Jessica Harrington's Modem was a bloodless winner of a two-horse feature at Punchestown yesterday.
The withdrawal of Identity Thief (coughing) from the Follow Punchestown On Twitter And Facebook Rated Hurdle at Punchestown ensured that the race turned into a 'match' and the 1/10 favourite duly obliged, seeing off only rival Baby Jake by a very cosy five lengths in the hands of Mark Bolger.
"It's a pity the other horse didn't run but there is nothing we can do about that," said Harrington. "It was like an exercise gallop.
"He's entered in the Leopardstown November Handicap but he may not get into it.
"He could have a little break and come back for the BoyleSports Hurdle at Leopardstown in January as he's been on the go for the summer and has won two on the Flat and two hurdles.
"The Grade Two (WKD Hurdle) in Down Royal (October 30) is another possibility."
Later on the card, the Festival 3 For 2 Deals On punchestown.com Handicap Chase was a far more competitive affair, with the Karl Thornton-trained Colms Dream (3/1 joint favourite) edging out fellow market leader Shield by half a length under seven-pound claimer Donagh Meyler.
Meyler, based with Tony Martin, was riding just his 11th winner but has now ridden seven winners in the last six weeks. Yesterday, he delivered the winner with a well-timed run to snatch the spoils from Barry Geraghty aboard the Aidan O'Brien-trained runner-up.
"He seems to have come on from his last run and is still only six," said winning handler Thornton.
"A light weight is a big thing for him and he could go to Down Royal next for a 0-123 handicap. There's also a 2m 6f handicap hurdle at Down Royal that he could run in and he'll probably get a break after that."
The Richie Rath-trained Moylisha Tim made all when justifying 9/4 favouritism to win the irishinjuredjockeys.com Maiden Hurdle in the hands of amateur James Slevin.
Slevin, a nephew of Aidan O'Brien and who joined Nigel Twiston-Davies six weeks ago, kept the son of Alkaadhem going in the home straight to see off Silken Thomas.
Colin Bowe's Don Vincenzo, ridden by Sean Flanagan, gained a third career success in the Visit The New Look Punchestown.com Beginners Chase.
Flanagan, landing his fourth winner in a fortnight, moved the son of Vinnie Roe into the lead entering the home straight and from there kept on for a four-length win over 6/4 favourite Full Cry.
"Good ground is the key to him, and the small field probably helped as he can be a bit keen," said Bowe. "We'll keep him on the go if the ground is good."