Eventual winner Jennies Jewel (nearside) battles it out with Upazo at Naas(Healy Racing Photos)
It doesn't come as any great surprise that formbook students will have to forgive under-par performances at Limerick over Christmas, given the extremely testing nature of the ground at Greenmount Park. Jennies Jewel
bounced back from a flop when favourite there, to land the opening Annual Membership At Naas Maiden Hurdle.
Ruby Walsh expressed concerns about the going here, for odds-on favourite, Upazo, in yesterday's Irish Examiner.
A little keen perhaps, Upazo put in a lovely display of fluent hurdling until tacked by Jennies Jewel at the last.
Walsh's mount hit the final flight and he couldn't cope with the well-bred bumper winning mare, Jennies Jewel (Ian McCarthy up) from the back of the last, going down by two lengths at the finish.
Jarlath Fahey trains Jennies Jewel and he said: "I'm delighted. She was caught out by the very deep ground at Limerick. She travelled very well then but just stopped.
"We knew that if she was back to her Punchestown run (second behind Pride ofthe Parish) that she'd have a chance.
"Ian said he rode her more patiently and she's seen out the trip well.
"There's a possibility she could go for the mares Listed race at Fairyhouse at the end of the month." (GC & EM)
Trainer Evan Williams still believes William's Wishes is some way short of Grade One standard, despite taking his winning run over fences to five at Sandown on Saturday.