Road To Riches in action at Punchestown
©Healy Racing Photos
By Michael Graham
Defeat wasn’t considered an option for odds on favourite Road To Riches in the opening two and a half mile maiden hurdle at Punchestown as on-course punters backed him down to 1/6 from an opening show of 1/3.
The favourite duly obliged for Noel Meade in the Gigginstown colours worn by Davy Russell. After racing a close second to Pride Of The Parish, Russell moved his mount into the lead before three out and kept him up to his work to win comfortably by two and a quarter lengths.
Road To Riches, who had been 8/15 in morning trading, was winning his third race in-a-row after landing a point-to-point in Sligo and a bumper in Naas, where he beat previous winner Gold Bullet by four and a half lengths.
Afterwards Noel Meade said: “He did what we hoped he would do. Davy let him roll along as he was jumping so well and he didn’t want to take him back.
“All going well he’ll go for the Grade 1 novice hurdle at Navan next month. He’s a horse that will always want two and a half miles and further.
“We probably won’t see the best of him until he goes over fences next season. I’d say he would be slightly better on better ground as he’s such a lovely mover.”
Paddy Power left Road To Riches unchanged at 14/1 for the Neptune Investment Management Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, but Stan James introduced him for that race at 33/1.
Additional reporting by Alan Magee