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Champagne celebrations for de Bromhead after opener

Champagne Mahler and Darragh O'Keeffe Champagne Mahler and Darragh O'Keeffe
© Photo Healy Racing

Champagne Mahler recorded a game front-running performance to land the opening Langtons Kilkenny Handicap Hurdle at Gowran Park this afternoon.

The Henry de Bromhead-trained gelding had disappointed at Cork last month and dropped back to two miles this afternoon.

Darragh O'Keeffe gave the 14/1 shot a positive ride and he was in control going to the last when getting that final flight wrong.

The Mahler gelding galloped on strongly on the run-in to post a six-and-a-half length win over Kilbarry Saint Benjis Benefit was backed into 4/6 for the race but after travelling strongly turning for home he found little from the second last and could only finish fourth.

"I was disappointed with him in Cork but he obviously struggled with the trip,” said de Bromhead.

“We initially thought he was crying out for a (longer) trip but dropped him back today. He loved the ground, jumped really well and I'd say we just went too far at Cork and that seems confirmed now.

"He is a fine big horse, a real chaser and I'm delighted for the English-based BM Partnership as it's our first winner for them although unfortunately they're not here today."

(Quotes by Tom Weekes)

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About Gary Carson
Gary started out as a trainee/assistant journalist with the Sporting Life newspaper and has worked in the racing industry for over 25 years. He has been with the Press Association since 2013 and won the Irish Field Nap Table in 2016. He enjoys working with horses and trained his own horse, Mamaslittlestar, to win a point-to-point in 2019.