Robbie McNamara celebrates on Heath Hunter
©Healy Racing Photos
By Gary Carson
Heath Hunter made an impressive debut in the concluding bumper at Thurles this afternoon.
Robbie McNamara had his mount to the fore throughout and led going out on the final circuit.
The Jim Culloty-trained Shantou gelding was pressed turning for home but quickened smartly when asked over a furlong out.
The 7/1 shot pulled away nicely inside the final furlong to record a five-length success over Curvacious.
2/1 favourite Stoney had every chance turning in but faded to finish fourth.
"He's a lovely horse. He's straight forward and professional and while he hasn't impressed me at home I though he might come alive on the racecourse," said Culloty.
"He's never run in a schooling race so should improve a ton. He's for sale and I'd be happy to sell him to stay in the yard. If he's not sold he'll go for a winners' bumper."
(Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes)