Odds-on Ally takes Thurles opener
Urano & Paul Townend (left) jump the last just ahead of Ally Cascade and Davy Russell
(Healy Racing Photos)
The Gigginstown House Stud owned gelding won his bumper on his second start at Fairyhouse last month before he just went down by three parts of length to Jezki on his hurdling debut at Naas.
The son of Golan raced in third for much of the contest before he improved into a close second and challenged at two out.
He and Urano then had a good battle from there, with the odds-on favourite just gaining the upper hand near the line to win by half a length.
The Christy Roche trained Speckled Wood (who is a daughter of the high class mare Like-A-Butterfly) ran an encourage race on her debut to finish a further six and a half lengths back in third under Alan Crowe at 33/1.
Noel Meade said afterwards: "He is a fair horse. If he had won the last day he would be going for the Royal Bond (on Sunday). He will go for a Grade 1 hurdle at Leopardstown over Christmas now.
"Davy was delighted with the way he jumped the last. He jumped ordinary earlier on. He did what we expected him to do today."
Stan James make the winner at 33/1 chance (from 50's) for the Supreme Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.
(Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes)
Voler La Vedette will face four opponents as she bids to repeat last year's victory in the Grade 1 Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Sunday.