Don Cossack jumps the last under Davy Russell
©Healy Racing Photos
By Donal Murphy
After saddling two beaten favourites in the opening two contests at Navan, Don Cossack made it third time lucky for his trainer Gordon Elliott as he justified his short price in the I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle over two miles.
The 5yo son of Sholokhov won three bumpers last season and was expected to oblige today on his first start over hurdles.
Sent off the 3/10 favourite he raced in third in the early stages before moving into second from the fifth last flight.
He disputed the lead with Sizing Gold approaching the third last, which he wasn’t fluent over, and hit the front before the next, staying on well from there to record an easy nine and a half length success.
The Henry De Bromhead trained Sizing Gold had to settle for second at 10/1 under Andrew Lynch while the Harry Rogers trained Irish Thistle was a further thirteen lengths back in third at 20/1 with Andrew Thornton in the saddle.
Gordon Elliott said afterwards: "He idled a little bit in front but Davy was very happy with him. He will probably come back here for the Grade 1 Navan Novice Hurdle (Sunday December 16th) which is over two and a half miles. We will definitely be stepping him up in trip.
"We will take it one step at a time with him and it’s nice to get that race out of the way."
Boylesports go 10/1 about the winner for the Neptune Investments Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.
Stan James were more taken by the performance and have installed Don Cossack the 8/1fav for the Supreme Novices Hurdle (from 14/1) as well at the Neptune Investments Novices Hurdle (from 10/1).
The have also made him the 10/1fav (from 14/1) for the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle.
(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)