Epson Du Houx in full flight under Rachael Blackmore© Photo Healy Racing
Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore teamed up to take the Fethard Maiden Hurdle as Epson Du Houx scored in decisive fashion at Clonmel.
The conditions of this race, for horses that had run at least three times under National Hunt rules and not finished in the first three, suited the Gigginstown-owned gelding who had shown some promise when fourth to Fiddlerontheroof on his debut in a Navan bumper last season.
The six-year-old had made the running on a number of previous occasions over hurdles and Blackmore again elected to set the pace.
The son of Diamond had fellow 11/4 joint favourite Biko at work when that rival (backed on track from 6/1) made a mistake at the penultiomate flight.
Epson Du Houx kept on well to score by five lengths, with Shannon Fields a further ten lengths adrift in third.
Blackmore said, "He had a lovely run in a bumper when he finished behind Fiddlerontheroof and The Big Getaway.
"We thought he was a nice horse, his work at home has been good but he has been disappointing. He got his head in front today and hopefully he can improve and keep going on that road."
(TW & AM)