Saturday 24 March 2018

Waaheb makes winning return at Fairyhouse

WAAHEB was an impressive winner on his hurdles debut at Fairyhouse despite having had 538 days off the track.

In yet another brilliant training performance by Dermot Weld following Rite Of Passage's triumphant return at Ascot on Saturday, Waaheb made up for lost time with the minimum of fuss in the Premier Jump Weekend @ Fairyhouse Hurdle.

Winner of three bumpers before finishing second in the champion INH Flat Race at Punchestown in May 2011, he was sent off the 8-13 favourite.

Held up in the early stage by Mark Walsh as Decade Player made most of the running, he made smooth progress to challenge in the straight.

A good jump at the last took Waaheb into the lead and he pulled nicely clear to score by six and a half lengths from Silver Friend.

Weld said: "That was very satisfactory.

"He still has a lot to learn. He was a bit novicey early but his jumping improved as the race progressed.

"We'll look for a novice but could wait until Christmas as we're not in any hurry with him.

"I hope the spring is his target. He's won in testing ground there but that's really not what he wants. He's a talented horse with a lot of class."

BetVictor cut Waaheb from 14-1 to 12-1 for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

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