A happy pair - Bryan Cooper and Minsk
The betting told you all you needed to know about the www.punchestown.com Maiden Hurdle and on this occasion the market was spot-on as Minsk accounted for Glens Melody by eight and a half lengths to bring up a double for Dessie Hughes and Bryan Cooper, earlier on the mark with the lucky El Fontan in the opener.
Cooper let the very useful flat-performer, Minsk (4/9) stride on going to five out. Glens Melody (5/2), losing her unbeaten record here, tried to chase Minsk down from before the straight but she was always fighting a losing battle and she kept going at the same pace from before the final hurdle to post a satisfactory initial effort over timber.
Cooper revealed: "I was very impressed and he jumped from hurdle to hurdle and he quickened going to the last.
"It's nice to get that out of the way and he's certainly one to look forward to. He gave me a totally different feel compared to his last hurdle run at Fairyhouse.
"He was keen from the start and that's why I went on down the back straight."
William Hill go 16/1 about Minsk for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham.(AM & EM)