McConnell's 'Dubai' plan bears fruit
Roi De Dubai made all the running on the way to victory in the Handicap Hurdle at Bellewstown.
Adam Short gave the Dubai Destination gelding an excellent ride in the two-and-a-half-mile contest and even a slight mistake at that penultimate flight didn't halt his momentum and the 4/1 shot galloped on strongly from the last to record a four-and-three-quarter-length success over Trans Wood.
The winner had finished eighth on his return to action at Wexford last month but was only beaten just under three lengths.
Trainer John McConnell said: "He had run very well in Wexford over two miles in a pipe opener and this had been the plan all along and it came off. Sometimes once in a blue moon you feel you have a horse perfect and he was it. I was just praying I was right!
"He's a real terrier, he's not over big but he just gallops and gallops and if something comes to him he puts his head down. He puts everything into it.
"He is probably best undercooked if anything. Towards the end of last year we probably ran him too much on quick ground and probably soured him a bit.
"The owners are over from America so it is brilliant. I suppose we will have to look at Galway.
"For the people that own this, this is their Galway and Cheltenham but we might look at Galway if he sneaks into the bottom of big handicap hurdle on the Saturday or the Sunday."
McConnell had also struck in the opener at Wexford with Lowtown Charlie.