Mind's Eye puts Blow By Blow in his place
Top-class bumper horse Blow By Blow could only finish third to Mind's Eye on his debut over hurdles at Fairyhouse yesterday as he returned from a 567-day absence from the track.
Blow By Blow and the winner are owned by Gigginstown Stud and it was Henry de Bromhead's runner which came out on top in the two-mile maiden hurdle.
The former, absent since beating Moon Racer at Punchestown in April 2016, was prominent throughout but could not go on in the closing stages as Davy Russell produced Mind's Eye (2/1 co-favourite) to score by half a length.
Quick Grabim took second place, with Blow By Blow another length and three-quarters back in third.
"He's a horse we've always liked and (we're) delighted to win a good maiden hurdle," said De Bromhead. "He's ultimately a chaser in time but hopefully he'll progress over hurdles."
That was a rare reverse for Blow By Blow's trainer Gordon Elliott, who still managed to bag a treble through Woods Well, Osco Mosco and Monkshood.
Woods Well (2/1) stuck gamely to his task as he overcame an absence of 202 days to win the beginners' chase. The six-year-old saw off the protracted challenge of Thebarrowman by five lengths under Jack Kennedy.
Kennedy was in the saddle as Monkshood landed the odds in the two-and-a-half-mile novice hurdle.
"He's probably more of a three-miler, to be honest," said Elliott. "We might keep him for something like the three-mile novice hurdle at Limerick over Christmas. I like his attitude."
Elliott and Russell successfully teamed up with Osco Mosco (15/8 favourite) in the mares' maiden hurdle.
The pair had to settle for the runner-up in the opening novice chase as Robin Des Mana was headed by Robert Tyner's Blast Of Koeman after the last and Philip Enright eased the 3/1 joint-favourite three lengths clear.