Monday 16 October 2017

No thorny issues for Briar on jumps bow

Press Association

Cheltenham Bumper winner Briar Hill made a successful debut over timber in yesterday's opening maiden hurdle at Wexford.

Sent off at the prohibitive odds of 1/9 against vastly inferior rivals, Ruby Walsh made sure there would be no hard-luck stories on the favourite by taking up the early running.

Despite jumping a little to his left at his hurdles, it was nothing to set any alarm bells ringing and he put in an accurate round. Once Walsh wound up the pace half a mile from home, he had his rivals on the stretch.

The well-bred Molly Connors ran a promising race on her debut in second, but she was no match for the impressive winner, which held an 11-length advantage at the line.

"Wexford is not a track that would suit his strengths but I'm delighted he won. He jumped super and travelled very well," said Walsh.

Trainer Willie Mullins added: "I think the Royal Bond will come too soon for him so I'll consider the Navan Novice Hurdle (on December15)."

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