Kane steers Elusive Ivy to Galway victory
The promising Brian Kane produced Elusive Ivy late to win the www.galwayraces.com Mares Maiden Hurdle, with hot favourite Whistle Dixie a disappointing second.
Gordon Elliott's Whistle Dixie was sent off the 2/7 favourite on the back of some sparkling efforts in bumpers last term.
She edged ahead on the home turn, but could not shrug off a phalanx of challengers and eventually Kane squeezed Gavin Cromwell's Elusive Ivy (8/1) between horses before running on to score by a length and a quarter from the favourite, with Snaidhm a head back in third.
"I wasn't surprised at all as she had disappointed me the last few times," said Cromwell.
"Brian went wide and I thought he was getting there too soon, but he then took a pull and in the end just got out the gap."
Jockey Bryan Cooper said of Whistling Dixie: "I was disappointed as you'd like to see her quicken away and win but it was her first run back. Maybe the experience will stand to her."
Elliott and Cooper gained quick compensation when 8/13 favourite Captain Von Trappe made virtually all to run out a bloodless winner of the W.B. Gavin & Co. EBF Beginners Chase.
Cooper was happy to kick on with over a circuit to go, and he kept on well to score by 13 lengths from The Winkler.
"He was so well schooled you could be full of confidence and he jumped great apart from the third and fourth last. He was a bit clumsy at those but was getting lonely out in front," he said.
Mouse Morris' Baily Cloud got the better of a thrilling duel with Altiepix to land the Barna Recycling Rated Novice Hurdle .
The two main protagonists looked beaten when both lost momentum at the second last, allowing Ruby Walsh to sweep past and go clear on favourite Childrens List.
However, his blunder at the last gave Walsh no chance of staying in the saddle, leaving Baily Cloud to battle it out with Altiepix, and the 7/2 chance responded well to Mark Enright's urgings to shade the verdict by the narrowest of margins.
Morris said: "The second last (mistake) knocked him out a bit and that (2m4f) might just be far enough for him too. He'll stay hurdling this season and isn't a bad horse."
Brian O'Connell was stood down with a knee injury following a heavy fall from Millstream Ned in the WB Gavin & Co EBF Beginners Chase.
Travelling well into contention before the third-last fence, Patrick Neville's charge got it all wrong and both horse and jockey were grounded.