Runners make their way to the start for the opener at Limerick
©Healy Racing Photos
By Alan Magee
The booking of Ruby Walsh looked significant on Toye Native and so it proved as the Colin McBratney-trained five-year-old made the nine-hour round trip from Co. Down worthwhile with victory in the 2m3f mares maiden hurdle.
The easy-to-back 3/1 second favourite was given a patient ride by Walsh, produced to lead after two out and driven right out to beat Queen Of The Hill (7/2) by a length and three quarters.
Carrigeen Lonicera was up with the pace throughout but the 5/2 favourite could find no extra after the second last to finish another two and three quarter lengths adrift in third.
McBratney said, “That made the journey worthwhile. She’s improving with every run and is a nice mare.
“She had no luck in running at Down Royal last time but she was staying on. Ruby said she handled the ground well and she’ll stay further too. She will go for the final of this series at Fairyhouse.”
A mud-splattered Walsh said afterwards, “She was a bit keen at times but jumped super and she battled well from the last.”
Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes