Loosen My Load makes the perfect start over fences
Loosen My Load, a Grade Two winner over hurdles at Cheltenham last season, made a striking fencing debut at Punchestown.
Henry de Bromhead's six-year-old also finished fifth at this course in the Champion Novice Hurdle and looks to have a bright future in his new career. The 7/4 favourite refused to give an inch to the game Trimbellina in the Motivate Challenge Beginners Chase and took the lead with a crisp leap at the last. Andrew Lynch's mount then kept on in determined fashion to win by three and a half lengths.
De Bromhead won this race 12 months ago with subsequent Irish Independent Arkle hero Sizing Europe. "He was good there, I'm delighted with him," said the Co Waterford handler. "He's always looked like a chaser."
David Casey's never-say-die attitude was showcased aboard Schelm, which came from another parish to land the conditions chase. Ronald O'Leary's 14/1 chance was still third after the second-last but discovered a fifth gear on the run-in to defeat long-time leader Kahuna by half a length.
The Jessica Harrington-trained Sandymount Lady, the 11/10 favourite, came out best of a driving finish to land the Barrettstown Maiden Hurdle under Barry Geraghty.
Meanwhile, impressive bumper winner Backspin -- which scored for trainer Margaret Mullins at the Punchestown Festival -- failed to reach his reserve at Doncaster yesterday.
After an opening bid of £100,000, offers increased for Mrs Mary Furlong's gelding through to £220,000 but Backspin failed to find a new home at that price.
In Epsom Derby news, Michael Bell, has confirmed that he will be represented in the big race after reassessing his reaction to Coordinated Cut's third in the Dante last week. (© The Times, London).