A Rated clears the last under Barry O'Neill
©Healy Racing Photos
By Donal Murphy
A Rated recorded his first track success, as he ran out a good winner of the Kieran Kelly Memorial Beginners Chase.
Successful in a point-to-point at Lingstown in November of 2015, his best track effort before today came at the Punchestown Festival in April where he finished a close-up third in the Martinstown Opportunity Final.
He unseated at the first on his racecourse debut over fences at Galway recently, and having opened on-course at 11/2 this evening, he eventually went off a 7/1 chance in the Patrick Redmond silks made famous by Big Zeb.
Prominent in the early stages, he improved to lead after the second, and jumped well throughout under Barry O'Neill.
He was pushed along and kept up the gallop from before the last, staying on well to score by four and a quarter lengths.
Arkwrisht (s to 6s on-course) finished second under JJ Slevin for Joseph O'Brien, while Deputy's Pass (10/1) was eleven lengths back in third for Paul Townend and Alan Fleming.
Kenny said afterwards: "Barry said he had lots of horse. He said if had let him off earlier he'd have won by a furlong.
"He won his point-to-point on the same type of ground but he's been running well all year on different ground.
"We'll pick out a race again for him in a couple of weeks time.
"We might head for Listowel if the ground stays good. I'd say you could go any kind of distance with him and I'd say we'll look for a novice race for him."
D.E. Mullins, rider of Last Encounter trained by Ms Margaret Mullins, reported to the Clerk of Scales that his mount made a mistake.
The Turf Club Veterinary Officer examined Last Encounter, trained by Ms Margaret Mullins, at the request of the Stewards and reported the animal to be lame post race.
Additional reporting by Gary Carson