Dounikos jumps to it at Limerick for ring
Favourite backers in yesterday's featured novice chase at Limerick were cursing their luck as market leader Al Boum Photo came a cropper at the last when looking poised to land the spoils.
Dounikos and his jockey Andrew Ring took full advantage of the 1/2 favourite's mishap to claim victory for Gordon Elliott in the McMahon Builders Providers Grade Two Chase.
David Mullins had Al Boum Photo in front for a long way and was still going well when the Willie Mullins-trained inmate got too close to the final fence and came down.
Handed this golden opportunity, Ring drove the Michael O'Leary-owned 14/1 outsider over four lengths clear of stablemate Tombstone, which was wearing the owner's first colours.
"That's my biggest winner," said Ring. "I previously won a few big handicap hurdles but that is my first Graded win."
Of Dounikos, Ring added: "I had the other horse (Al Boum Photo) covered going down to the last. I was flying and he was such a good leaper - he gains two of three lengths at every fence."
Rachael Blackmore took the riding honours as last season's champion conditional booted home a 22/1 double after landing the opening two contests.
First up was the success of John Joe Walsh's Lady In Lavender (4/1) which rewarded strong morning support in the offices by taking the juvenile hurdle in gritty fashion. The daughter of Jeremy dug really deep up the straight to edge out Randalls Your Poet by three-parts of a length.
Blackmore didn't have to wait long for her second winner as it came in the following Signsplus Hurdle on Patriot for Ellmarie Holden.
Having finished fourth in last season's Triumph Hurdle, it was surprising to see the Holden's charge go off as big as 7/2, but that's what happens when rivals include a pair of potentially exciting French imports for Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott.
Patriot travelled well and hit the front at the second last, and despite being untidy at the final flight, Blackmore did not have to get serious to pull five-and-a-half lengths clear from Discorama.
Walsh also completed a double as the Doneraile, Co Cork trainer sent out Shower Cross (9/4 favourite) to claim the maiden hurdle under Ambrose McCurtin.