Oscar outstays rivals in style
Wise Oscar and Bryan Cooper are clear jumping the last
(Healy Racing Photos)
The well-backed 6/4 favourite (from 9/4) was pushed along three from home but found top gear in the straight, under Bryan Cooper.
The Oscar gelding could afford to cruise home in the closing stages to post an eight-length win over Miss Xian, who kept on for the runner-up spot.
The winner had chased home runaway winner Bog Warrior in a handicap hurdle here last month on his first start since joining Hughes' yard.
“He goes on that very heavy ground – very few do,” said Hughes.
“There might be another one in him. He can run over fences as well as he's won a chase. When horses get to this age they improve for a change of scene – get a new lease of life.
“He was never really on it (bridle) but goes in that heavy ground and just keeps going while the others stopped.”
Despite being off the track for 402 days, the Charles Byrnes trained Milborough was sent off the 5/2 joint favourite for the Waterford & Tramore Supporters Club Maiden Hurdle, and he duly obliged under Davy Russell.