Gallagher shows class in facile success
An excellent waiting ride from Pierce Gallagher allowed Aughnacurraveel to land the spoils in the Kilbeggan Patrons Club Hurdle at the Westmeath circuit.
Settled well off the early pace, the 7/1 chance only crept into contention after the second last, joining Leblon on the turn for home.
Leblon tried to give chase, but Aughnacurraveel was too strong, and Gallagher was able to sit up close home as he scored by three and three-quarter lengths, with Gimli's Rock, which looked well beaten with a circuit to run, fighting on for third.
Winning trainer Thomas Cummins said of his charge: "He'll be going to Cheltenham in March – I might put him away until then.
"He's a good horse and is a serious three-miler but I've been running him over the wrong distance all along and three miles up that hill at Cheltenham we'll take them on."
Davy Condon drove 9/4 favourite Formal Bid to get up in the dying strides and deny Luimneach Abu by a head in the Moate Handicap Hurdle.