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Michael Graham

Michael Graham

Meri Devie enjoying fences and life with Nolan

Meri Devie, near side, jumps the last with High School DaysMeri Devie, near side, jumps the last with High School Days
© Photo Healy Racing

Meri Devie who won three times over hurdles for Willie Mullins, made a winning start to life with Paul Nolan in the mares' beginners' chase at Naas.

The six-year-old travelled sweetly for Bryan Cooper as the pair made progress to close off the home bend.

She jumped the second last just behind High School Days and ahead of Grey Watters.

High School Days, the 5/4 favourite, came under pressure as Meri Devie drew alongside on the run to the final fence.

Meri Devie jumped it fractionally in front of High School Days who blundered and unseated Rachael Blackmore.

The winner was left clear to come home by 13 lengths at 5/2 from the well-punted Grey Watters (10/3 from 9/2 and indeed from 8/1 in the morning).

James Nolan, brother and assistant trainer, said: “With Gordon’s mare (Missy Tata) out it cut up a bit but she was good. We only have her about six weeks.

“She wasn’t bought to do this as she was bought as a broodmare. John (Brennan, owner) said to see how she jumps while she was waiting to go to a stallion and if we felt she could win a chase then let her do that. She schooled well and Bryan was happy with her so that’s why she’s here.

“I don’t know if she will stay racing now to see if she can get some black type. We’ll have to see what John wants to do.

“I thought that she’d need the run as we have done so little with her but maybe it was a little break that she wanted as she was busy on the Flat. Bryan said she’s so quick to jump.”

Meri Devie won at Listed level over hurdles.

Additional reporting by Alan Magee