Paul Carberry makes winning return after long lay-off
Paul Carberry made a winning return from a lengthy injury lay-off by guiding Ally Cascade to a comfortable victory in the opening race at Fairyhouse.
One of Ireland's leading jockeys, Carberry has been sidelined since the end of April with a shoulder injury which required surgery in July.
Following the defection of main market rival Devils Bride, Ally Cascade was the 1-4 favourite for the Premier Jump Weekend Hurdle and the result was scarcely in doubt.
Noel Meade's charge already had the measure of King William when he came to grief at the final obstacle, leaving the market leader to come home 17 lengths clear of Flycorn.
Carberry said: "It's great to be back. Nina (Carberry, sister) sold the horse to the boys (Gigginstown House Stud), so it's great to win for her as well.
"It's been a long wait. It's been slow trying to stretch the shoulder, but in the last two weeks it's improved a good bit.
"Hopefully it keeps going. It felt grand there today."
Meade said of his rider: "He's been working hard. A couple of months ago we were worried it wouldn't come right, but in the last fortnight it's been getting better and better.
"Paul caught me a bit by surprise, as I thought he was talking about being back for Sunday, but he rang me yesterday saying he was ready to go today.
"I knew he was close as he was riding a lot of schooling."
Of the winner, the trainer said: "I'll have to talk to the owners, but there's a possibility he might switch to fences. We haven't schooled him yet, so we'll have to see.
"He's a bit behind as we have to work him on grass as he doesn't like the all-weather."
Carberry was out of luck on his second ride of the day as the Gordon Elliott-trained Moonshine Lad fell two flights from home in the Fairyhouse Membership 2014 Maiden Hurdle.
The jockey was unscathed, however, and got back in the saddle to complete a double on Elliott's 2-1 favourite Not For Changing in the 25 Punter's Pack Premier Jump Racing Weekend Handicap Hurdle.