Hidden Cyclone boosts Cheltenham prospects
Hidden Cyclone looks like a possible Cheltenham candidate after claiming the Murray Spelman Insurance Supporting Kildare GAA Poplar Square Chase at Naas.
Always held in the highest regard by trainer John 'Shark' Hanlon, the seven-year-old had been off the track since meeting only his second career defeat behind the top-class Sir Des Champs at Leopardstown in January.
Reappearing over an inadequate two miles, he jumped sketchily at times but his undoubted class shone through as he took up the running on the bridle.
Hidden Cyclone did run around a bit after the last and Andrew McNamara needed to straighten him up, but he held off the race-fit Foildubh by a length and a half.
"He hadn't run for nine months so he wouldn't have been spot-on for this. He'll improve in his fitness and jumping," said Hanlon. "He's won twice at Leopardstown so there's no reason we wouldn't go for the Lexus."
The rest of the card was dominated by Jessica Harrington, who was at the Newmarket sales, as she had a treble.
Arguably the highlight of the hat-trick was the victory of Jenari in an informative novice chase.
Jenari looked booked for minor honours at best turning into the straight, as Far Away So Close was tracked by Mount Benbulben and Dylan Ross.
Dylan Ross went into a two-length lead after jumping the last but Jenari came with a wet sail and stayed on powerfully under Robbie Power to win by a length and a quarter.
Power also won the DSM Demolition Supporting Kildare GAA Hurdle on Harrington's Maller Tree. "He quickened up real well and I was delighted with him, he's been working well at home and I'd say he's a better horse this year than he was last year," said Power.
Barry Geraghty won on his only ride of the day on Harrington's Jezki, making his debut over obstacles in the opening maiden hurdle.
Favourite Ally Cascade looked to have done enough with a decent leap at the last but was soon treading water and Jezki (7/4) rallied for a three-quarters of a length win.
Colin Kidd's 10/1 shot Back In A Tic took the Brown Lad Handicap Hurdle under Sean McDermott, while the Joe Mallon Motors Supporting Kildare GAA Handicap Hurdle went to the Martin Brassil-trained Worldor in the hands of Niall Madden.
Thunder And Roses was an effortless winner of the bumper for Dessie Hughes, who was also on the mark at Galway with the classy Lyreen Legend, which won on his chasing debut.