Espoir D'allen and Barry Geraghty
©Healy Racing Photos
By Gary Carson
Espoir D'allen made it two from two over hurdles in the opener at Down Royal this afternoon with a cosy success in the Value Cabs 3-Y-O Hurdle.
Barry Geraghty tracked the leaders on the 2/5 shot before producing his mount to challenge two from home in the two-miler.
A slight mistake at the penultimate flight didn't hinder his progress and he cruised into the lead before the final obstacle.
The Gavin Cromwell-trained was slightly untidy again at the last but it made little difference as he cantered home to record a impressive length-and-three-quarter win over Kuraka.
Another step up in grade now awaits the JP McManus-owned gelding with the Grade 3 Winter Festival Juvenile Hurdle at Fairyhouse on December 3rd the target.
“That was good. I suppose the Grade 3 in Fairyhouse is the obvious place to go as it's a month away,” said Cromwell.
“He missed the second last and the last a little bit but he was fine and he won well enough. It was a good performance and he's an exciting horse.
“It's very hard to know how good he can be but he's going the right way anyway and giving us all the right signals.
“I've only really had Jer's Girl and he's right up there.
When asked if ground and trip would be any problem if he was to turn into a Triumph Hurdle contender at Cheltenham Cromwell responded:-
“I don't think it would be any problem at all. He's by a sire (Voix Du Nord) that's had success there before with Defi Du Seuil.”
Geraghty added:- “He did it well. They went a nice even pace and it rode like a good race.
“He has a good pedigree, as he's by the same sire as Defi Du Seuil, and he looks a nice horse.”