Starkie winning at Cork
©Healy Racing Photos
By Michael Graham
Starkie fended off Strategic Bid at the end of the two mile maiden hurdle at Cork to give Henry de Bromhead and Bryan Cooper a winner at 11/2.
The five-year-old gelding had run third on his seasonal comeback at Punchestown over two and a half miles a month ago, and stepped up on that form today.
Cooper sent him into the lead from flagfall and at the second last it looked like Strategic Bid (12/1) and John Cullen were going to get on terms. However, the pursuer clouted that flight which halted his momentum.
A good jump at the last secured victory forStarkie as Strategic Bid closed to within half a length at the finish without looking like getting there.
Winning jockey Bryan Cooper commented: “The last two jumps won it for him. He’s a real chaser in the making.”
Third-placed money went to 25/1 outsider Overbury Prince. The uneasy 13/8 favourite Shamar, who drifted out from 11/10, came in fourth beaten seven lengths in total.
This gave successful trainer Henry de Bromhead a quick-fire across the card double after Too Scoops won the Listed novice hurdle at Punchestown at 6/1.
(Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes)