O'Brien's big 'Hope' proves star of Geraghty four-timer
Landofhopeandglory moved to the top of ante-post lists for next year's Triumph Hurdle after making an impressive start to his jumping career at Fairyhouse, where Barry Geraghty booted home a 59/1 four-timer.
The son of High Chaparral won just once from nine starts on the Flat for Aidan O'Brien, but earned a three-figure rating following some excellent efforts in defeat.
Sent off the 10/11 favourite on his first start for Joseph O'Brien and owner JP McManus in the Racing On New Years Day 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle, the youngster jumped well in the main and quickened up smartly from the final flight to beat stablemate Big Ben by a length and a half.
Paddy Power cut Landofhope-andglory to 12/1 market leader for the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham next March.
Landofhopeandglory and Big Ben are just two of a number of ex-Ballydoyle horses who will go jumping for Joseph O'Brien and McManus this winter.
"That's the first two and there are a few more to come, although they haven't been off the ground yet so we'll see what happens down the road," said McManus' spokesman Frank Berry.
The success was Geraghty's third winner of the afternoon, having struck gold aboard Gordon Elliott's Woodford Island (6/5 favourite) in the Marie Keating Foundation Fundraising Day At Fairyhouse Beginners Chase and the Eric McNamara-trained Irish Bulletin (4/1) in the three-mile handicap chase.
Geraghty hit the bullseye for a fourth time aboard the Elliott-trained Fire In His Eyes (2/1) which edged out Mahler Ten by a half-length in the novice hurdle.