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Mark Nunan

Mark Nunan

Champ Kiely impresses on hurdles debut

Champ Kiely Champ Kiely
© Photo Healy Racing

Champ Kiely (9/4) routed his rivals in the Tote-sponsored maiden hurdle as he came clear from the second-last to score by a whopping 21 lengths.

The Ocavango gelding, a bumper winner at Limerick last year, was always prominent under Paul Townend, led from the sixth and a good jump at the penultimate flight had all his pursuers in trouble. Esperti and 2/1 favourite Dawn Rising filled the places.

Winning trainer Willie Mullins said: "I was hoping he'd win but didn't think he'd do anything like that and he has moved up a few places amongst our novice hurdlers for this year. That looked very good.

"There was a lot of confidence behind the favourite (Dawn Rising) and to come out and beat a 102-rated Flat horse like that was very good."

"I'll have a chat with Michael (Masterson, owner) and go through all the rest of the horses for the year before making a plan but he looks a smart type."

He added: "We have been very lucky buying out of Pat's (Doyle) and he doesn't charge us too much all the time! It is a good source and this horse looks a real jumping sort. I know he is only starting his novice hurdle career but I'm already looking forward to him going over fences."

Quotes from Tom Weekes