Jadanli has Gilligan on cloud nine
Ex-invalid Jadanli emerged triumphant from a 51st renewal of the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse yesterday to follow up Galway-based Paul Gilligan's Cheltenham triumph with Berties Dream.
The Craughwell trainer and his father Eamonn -- in whose colours the family horse named after Paul's sons Jack, Danny and Liam won previously at Navan -- were entitled to savour another big-race triumph.
"We could have sold him for good money at one stage and then he was off the track for two years with leg trouble. After he won at Navan at the end of February, he was lame again and we had to swim and massage him to make it here today," explained Gilligan.
"Andrew Lynch gave our fellow a brilliant ride and he's been very lucky for us. Jadanli could run again if the ground is safe at Punchestown and Berties Dream will go there for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle."
The Irish Grand National, back at this track next year, is Gilligan's long-term objective for yesterday's 25/1 victor which was left with a clear advantage when Zaarito came down when leading three out.
Another prime fancy, Jagoes Mills, was the first casualty, exiting at the second fence on a day when his partner Davy Russell took the honours of the session courtesy of a 99/1 treble.
The John 'Shark' Hanlon-trained favourite Luska Lad initiated the Cork pilot's hat-trick when regaining the initiative close home in the Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Hurdle from main market rival Blackstairmountain.
The latter seemed set for victory when taking over before the final flight, but Russell sensed the new leader was tiring and galvanised Luska Lad to record a ninth success over two miles for the Magestic Syndicate.
"He had a hard race there so we will skip Aintree next weekend and wait for Punchestown. After that I'm thinking of bringing him to France," said Hanlon.
Russell received a one-day ban for using his whip with excessive frequency before going out to succeed again aboard Donie Sheahan's For Bill in the mares' novice hurdle series final.
Defeated for the first time in eight career starts behind Morning Supreme at Limerick last month, Russell's mount exacted sweet revenge over an extra half a mile in much more testing conditions.
Having taken over after three out from Premier Victory, Morning Supreme turned for home going well but began to flounder between the final two flights as Russell came wide and fast aboard For Bill. Russell adopted similar waiting tactics over an hour later to deliver Colm Murphy's 10/1 chance Quito De La Roque with a sustained run that proved too much for Ad Idem in the other novice hurdle final.
Curragh trainer John McConnell's Dul Ar An Ol, which shortened from 16/1 to 6/1 on-course, left his previous efforts in the shade during the opening handicap hurdle and Our Girl Salley also did the business for followers of the in-form Wicklow yard of Prunella Dobbs in the winners' bumper.