Supreme sparkles for in-form Ruby
RUBY Walsh's trip to Limerick paid off yesterday as he registered a convincing all-the-way success aboard odds-on favourite Morning Supreme in the Dawn Omega Milk EBF Mares Novice Hurdle.
The talented mare, fifth to Dunguib at Cheltenham last year, was two from two over hurdles before the race and never looked to be in any danger of losing her perfect jumps record. The Willie Mullins-trained 1/2 hotpot more than justified her backers' faith, turning in a commanding performance.
The odd jumping error was always more likely to endanger the processional nature of Morning Supreme's victory than her opposition, though eventual third For Bill was a game loser, coming off the bridle over three out in an effort to stay with the winner, but resolutely plugging on to the line, where she was just pipped by Blazing Tempo.
Patrick Mullins, representing his father, said of the winner: "She doesn't jump EasyFix hurdles as well as regulation ones, but she did it very easily. She'll go to Punchestown and Fairyhouse."
Inistioge was rewarded for her consistency with a gutsy success in the Dawn Run Mares Novice Chase. Garvan Donnelly's seven-year-old made all the running in the hands of Andrew Leigh and her rivals were never allowed to get in a blow.
The 3/1 favourite got in a little close to the last, but still came home a length and three-quarters clear of Cara Mara, with Hello Kitty third.
"Inistioge wouldn't want the ground any faster but did it well and is an improving mare," said Donnelly, celebrating his biggest success.
Robbie Moran steered the Eddie Cawley-trained Go On Ya Boyo to a two-length win in the Ballynoe Stables Pre Cheltenham Handicap Hurdle.
Moran held the son of Pistolet Bleu in mid-division before making progress to eventually lead at the final flight, staying on well to defeat Christy Roche's Tooman Lane.
Roche and stable jockey Alan Crowe bounced back to complete a double with Silent Creek in the beginners' chase and Clarkey in the Charleville Cheese Handicap Chase.
Amateur jockey Robbie McNamara warmed up for the Cheltenham festival with a winning ride on the Tom Nagle-trained Acey in the bumper.
McNamara, who rides strong fancies Rite Of Passage and Elegant Concorde at Cheltenham, moved the son of Milan to the front three furlongs out, and the gelding quickened to defeat Minella Class by two lengths.