Double for Kiely as Kilbarry sluices home
Derek O'Connor & Kilbarry Beauty after the race with Nina Carberry on Johannisberger in the foreground
(Healy Racing Photos)
O’Connor of course broke his leg from a fall at Musselburgh on February 16th and had been out of action since, missing the Cheltenham Festival in the process.
The winner, who is a 5yo daughter of Saffron Walden, put in an eye-catching display on her debut at Clonmel recently, running on strongly up the straight to finish third behind Behrama.
20/1 shot Clar Na Mionn attempted to assert two furlongs out under Tom O’Brien for his father Val but the winner chased him down and hit the front a furlong from home before racing clear to record an easy nine and a half length win.
Winning rider Derek O'Connor said afterwards: "I’m delighted to be back especially with Punchestown on this week."
Meanwhile winning trainer John Kiely said: "She lived up to what I had hoped for at Clonmel. Nina rode her there and wasn’t too hard on her and she has shown the benefit of that now.
"It took a long time for the penny to drop with her to race. Hopefully she will go on from here.
"I’m delighted Derek was back to ride her as there are very few like him to be able to hold her together on ground like that."
The winner is a half-sister to Massini's Maguire who won the Grade 1 2m 4f Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2007 as well as six other races including two Listed contests over fences.
Donal Murphy & Alan Magee
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