The grey Top Speed is clear of several first-flight casualties
© Photo Healy Racing
Fitted with a tongue-tie for the first time, Top Speed (7/2) made all to win the Ballygowan Maiden Hurdle for Henry de Bromhead.
Fourth at Clonmel last month on his first run since Christmas, the Henry de Bromhead-trained grey jumped well and was more fluent over the last than his main pursuer, 2/1 favourite The Mediator whom he went on to beat by two and a half lengths.
O'Connor said: "Yeah, he did (settle better). He was probably idling most of the way really, but he enjoyed himself. He was just jumping from hurdle to hurdle.
"He put his head down and he was game.
"I think the better ground brought out improvement in him. I think he is a nice horse going forward.
"I'd say it (ground) is on the slow side of good and probably a bit slower down the back straight. It is lovely, safe jumping ground."
Quotes from Michael Graham