Moscow Mannon and Andrew Lynch fly the last
©Healy Racing Photos
By Gary Carson
Classy bumper performer Moscow Mannon made a winning start over jumps when a cosy winner of the Irish Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle at Navan.
Brian Hamilton's charge was a three-time winner last season and fourth in the Cheltenham bumper.
He proved easy to back for his debut over timber, drifting from 4/6 to 9/10 on course, but got the job done in fine style.
Andrew Lynch bounced his mount out in front, in the two-miler, and he only needed to be shaken up after the second last to settle matters.
The Paparrazi Kid had travelled well into contention two out but couldn't match the winner in the closing stages, going down by two-and-three-quarter lengths.
Hamilton expects his charge to improve considerably from the run after having an interrupted preparation:-
"I'm glad to get that out of the way and I can relax a bit now.
"I doubt he'll go to Leopardstown as he pulled muscles six or seven weeks ago which messed us up a bit. Leopardstown may come a bit quick.
"He'll probably go for the Slaney Hurdle (over two-and-a-half miles) at Naas (January 6th). We'll step him up a bit and that's the idea at the minute.
"He should improve quite a bit from that run."
The winner was introduced at 20/1 by Stan James for the Supreme Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham.
(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)