Dedigout on top in Boyne drama
Dedigout ran out a convincing winner of the Ladbrokes Ireland Boyne Hurdle at Navan after drama at the final flight in the Grade Two contest.
Bryan Cooper always looked comfortable on the Tony Martin-trained 6-4 favourite, who was coming off the back of a victory in the Galmoy Hurdle, and all looked to be going to plan when he hit the front after jumping the third-last flight.
But Briar Hill was switched to put in a powerful challenge under Ruby Walsh and had just hit top gear when he fell at the last, allowing Dedigout to ease away from Zaidpour to score by two and a half lengths, with Gerdago running a fine race in third.
Martin said: "He jumped well coming back to this trip. He always had the pace and the ground helped his stamina come into play.
"Ruby was a bit unlucky and who knows what would have happened if he'd stood up, I thought we had a little left and it would have been interesting to see."
Dedigout was trimmed to 20-1 from 25-1 for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham with Paddy Power, who cut Briar Hill to 16-1 from 25-1. Boylesports left Dedigout unchanged at 20-1.
However, Martin warned: "Hopefully our fellow is OK in the morning, and there will have to be at least yielding in the ground wherever he goes. We'll get him home and see where we go from there."
Cooper told At The Races: "Tony's done a great job getting him back. He loves that soft ground, it's a big help to him. He's doing nothing wrong so far
"I was in front sooner than I wanted and I wasn't doing much in front. I'd be hoping if my lad got into a battle he'd come out the other side. Ruby was maybe travelling the better, but I always thought I had plenty up my sleeve.
"There's another one in him, no doubt, but we'll be very careful where we go. It will want to be good, even ground wherever he does go."
The victory was part of a treble for owners Gigginstown House Stud, who also scored with Very Wood and Cogryhill.