McNamaras take the honours

Niall Cronin

Brothers Andrew and Robbie McNamara stole the riding honours yesterday at Leopardstown on the final day of the Christmas Festival as amateur Robbie added to his major win on Majestic Concorde to add a double after Andrew had earlier bagged a brace.

It was younger brother Robbie who kicked off proceedings by again teaming up with Dermot Weld to land the opening maiden hurdle on 4/11 shot Hidden Universe.

An apparent good thing, nothing looked keen to make the running so the 22-year-old took it upon himself and the result was never in doubt as he eased to a four-length win.

"He was big and safe and a bit green today jumping, but I think in a race with more pace he would be better," winning trainer Dermot Weld said afterwards.

"It was Robbie's decision to make the running and he did the right thing as nothing wanted to go on.

"He did what you would expect him to do in that race and we will look for a winners of one in February and take it from there," he said.

The amateur went on to complete his double in the concluding bumper on the Gordon Elliott-trained Bold Optimist, who was all the rage beforehand.

One of the biggest talking horses of the week, his supporters were justified as he looked to be in trouble turning in for home with more horses in front of him than behind him, but under a typical ice cool ride, and showing the class that had him so popular, Bold Optimist went on to score from Felix Younger.

"He is still a big baby and we are in no rush with him," Elliott said. "He looks like a proper horse. At home he has been working in front of everything and hasn't been off the bridle."

Andrew McNamara (pictured left) instigated his double when overturning Elliott's Toner D'Oudairies in the Grade Two Bord na Móna Fire Magic Juvenile Hurdle.

The favourite could only manage fourth as the first three in the betting all failed to finish in the first three passed the judge as Sailors Warn bounced back to put in a career high and win for trainer Edward O'Grady.