punchestown 20th Feb
Yes Sir Brian (extreme left)
(Healy Racing Photos)
There was something of an anti-climax to Punchestown's AES Family Saturday At The Festival INH Flat Race as Aidan O'Brien's first National Hunt runners in more than eight years finished out of the frame.
Shield showed up for a long way and was still in contention halfway down the straight, whereas his stablemate Egyptian Warrior made only moderate headway from the rear as 20-1 outsider Yes Sir Brian made a successful start to his career under Derek O'Connor
Heading long-time leader Mount Colah approaching the final flight, Eddie Harty's mare stormed clear and had 11 lengths in hand at the line.
Sadly, Apt Approach didn't get up from his fall but his trainer Willie Mullins enjoyed better fortune when Un De Sceaux (9-10 favourite) accounted for market rival Sammy Black in the Festival Party Pack From 19 Euros Maiden Hurdle, with the pair miles clear of the remainder.
Kashline was rewarded for his recent consistency with victory in the Festival Free Upgrade Offer Ends Today Maiden Hurdle.
Barry O'Neill produced the 11-2 shot at the last to tackle Fergiethelegend and he pulled out more on the run to the line to prevail by three-quarters of a length, with Foxrock again letting favourite-backers down in third.
Claudia Augusta (20-1) and Tudor Fashion hasn't shown a great deal leading into the Punchestown.com For Festival Offers Mares Maiden Hurdle but they fought out a thrilling finish, with the former prevailing by three-quarters of a length.
Similarly, Day Dream Boy hadn't exactly been at the top of his game this term but he put his best foot forward to claim the Festival Hospitality From 99 Euros Handicap Hurdle at odds of 10-1, while Rathvawn Belle sprung a 33-1 shock in the Goffs Punchestown Invitational Sale INH Flat Race.
Trainer Eddie Cawley gained an overdue win at Punchestown today when Day Dream Boy landed the Festival Hospitality From €99 Handicap Hurdle under jockey Rob Jones.