World War breaks duck as Keane moves three clear
World War landed a long overdue first career success when landing yesterday's maiden over an extended nine furlongs at Gowran Park.
Ger Lyons's charge was smartly away in the hands of Colin Keane who wasted little in building up a healthy lead. The 8/11 favourite eased over to the stands' rail as they swung for home and, although he was beginning to tire as he passed the furlong marker, Keane's mount still had enough in the tank to hold off outsider Warnaq.
Lyons and Keane had earlier been successful when Inscribe (5/2 joint-fav) took advantage of a lenient opening handicap mark in the one-mile handicap, beating Admirality by a length.
The double put Keane three clear in the jockeys' title race, with rival Pat Smullen drawing a blank.
Local trainer Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning also teamed up for a brace, with Cimeara (10/1) taking the auction maiden for juvenile fillies and Haunting Vocals (9/1) claiming the nursery over seven furlongs.
Across the pond, Bryan Cooper drew a blank at Ludlow with his first two rides as Alan Potts's retained rider in Britain. Exxaro finished last in the three-mile handicap chase, while Mick Thonic unshipped Cooper in the Vera Davies Memorial Chase.
Cooper was upbeat afterwards. "It's a great opportunity, they have some fantastic horses and I'm looking forward to it. We'll take it week by week, but there's a lot of exciting horses.
"I'm over for a couple of days now and we'll take it as it comes. I'm there (at Colin Tizzard's yard) in the morning to get a feel of the place.
"I rode some fantastic horses for Gigginstown and I had probably the best four years of my career so far. I'm just grateful I can get on some more very good horses and, to me, it's all about the big days.
"I'll be based in Ireland. Ruby (Walsh) and Barry (Geraghty) did it for many years and I don't see why I can't do it. We'll give it a go and see how we get on. I had a good chat with Ruby and he said to enjoy it. I'm only 25 and it's exciting times."
Meanwhile, Davy Russell will be hoping to continue his flying start to the season at Thurles today.
Two of his mounts on the card carry the maroon and white colours of Gigginstown and he teams up with Noel Meade in the four-year-old maiden hurdle as Sean Flanagan is currently suspended.
French import Dis Donc was well held on his Irish debut behind the impressive Sharjah at Gowran Park but looks capable of better.
Russell teams up with Gordon Elliott in the preceding contest and Mitchouka looks an interesting acquisition by the Gigginstown team.
The same jockey/trainer combination will also be looking to score with Swingbridge in the first division of the Cashel Handicap Hurdle. He is on a four-timer in the two-mile-six-furlong contest, having landed his three previous outings since joining the Cullentra handler.
Another horse that still looks very well treated over hurdles is Henry de Bromhead's Mullinavat and Russell can make it a profitable day.