Bog Warrior wins in style
©Healy Racing Photos
By Gary Carson
Bog Warrior looked a class act as he claimed the John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park in fine style.
Davy Russell's mount made all in the Grade Two event and had too much for Zaidpour in the closing stages as he posted a three-and-a-quarter-length win contest in the three-mile contest.
Tony Martin's charge was sent off 8/11 favourite and had his market rival off the bridle turning for home.<Bog Warrior was asked for an effort before the final flight and soon looked in control.
He ran down the last slightly, allowing 11/10 shot Zaidpour to get closer, but picked up well again on the run-in and Russell could afford to sit up close home for a cosy success.
The Gigginstown gelding was recording his third straight success over timber since switching back to the smaller obstacles after a fall on his seasonal return over fences at Down Royal.
“He's a very good horse,” said Martin afterwards.
“It was his first time at three miles but I was confident enough he would get it. He gets any trip and has a bit of class.
“I wanted to get today out of the way and things are in the balance as regards Cheltenham. The lads (Gigginstown) have so many horses so we'll see how things pan out.
“He jumped his hurdles a bit big the last day but came down today and he's there as a hurdler or a chaser is we want him.
“I shouldn't have run him after he fell at Naas last year and he wasn't fully ready when he fell up the north but it's easy to be wise after the event.
“The World Hurdle could maybe be a bit too good for him but the ground is also all important and I wouldn't like to see him run on ground too fast.”
Davy Russell added:- “He's what we thought he was. He was in and out over fences with his jumping a little bit but he's a much easier horse to ride now.
“He retains all his ability and is a high class horse really. He's got such a huge stride it's pointless trying to control that and I just leave him to lob away in front.
“It's very hard to know how fast you are going on him as he has such a big stride and when he does meet a hurdle right he jumps very well.
“The World Hurdle is the obvious option. I suppose it's that or the Ryanair or Gold Cup. At that sort of level his jumping (over fences) may just suffer though.
“Personally I would say the World Hurdle. He's a classy horse and the key to him is that he's more manageable.”
Paddy Power and Boylesports make the winner a 10/1 shot from 12/1 for the World Hurdle at Cheltenham. Boylesports also make him 8/1 from 10/1 for the Hennessy.
(Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes)