Flaxen Flare jumps the last in front from Ibsen (left) and Diplomat (right)
©Healy Racing Photos
By Donal Murphy
The Gordon Elliott trained Flaxen Flare got off the mark over hurdles on the first time of asking as he took the Paddy Power On Your Mobile 3yo Maiden Hurdle.
Previously trained on the level in England by Andrew Balding (winning twice) he was purchased for 105,000 Guineas at the Tattersalls Autumn Horses-in-Training Sale in October.
Making his debut for Elliott this afternoon, the son of Windsor Knot was sent off a 11/1 chance under Davy Condon.
He raced in mid-division in the early stages and was seventh at the halfway stage. He made headway into third entering the straight and he was ridden to lead at the last and kept on well on the run-in to score by two and a quarter lengths.
The John Murphy trained Ibsen ran on well to take second at 33/1 under David Splaine.
Diplomat, who was 2/1 this morning with Paddy Powers, was well supported in the market and went off the 6/5 favourite under Tony McCoy for Dermot Weld.
He hit the front at the second last but had no more to offer when headed at the last and he had to settle for third a further four and three parts of a length behind the runner-up.
Gordon Elliott said afterwards: "We always thought he was nice and he beat Diplomat in a schooling race at Fairyhouse.
"It’s hard to really fancy one in these 3yo hurdles as they can be a bit rough and ready.
"We have been quite lucky with 3yo hurdlers. He is probably not as fast as Shadow Catcher but he might keep going a bit better."
Stan James have introduced the winner at 25/1 for the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, while he's a 20/1 chance with Boylesports.
(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)