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Birdie puts Listed honours on the board at Thurles

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Birdie Or Bust capitalised on a final-flight blunder from Fun Fun Fun to claim the Billy Harney Memorial Irish EBF Mares Novice Hurdle at Thurles.

Henry de Bromhead’s five-year-old was sent off the 7-2 second-favourite to Willie Mullins’ Grade Two bumper winner who had made a fine start to her hurdling career here last month.

The 2-5 favourite made most of the running in the hands of Paul Townend and still held a lead of around two lengths when sprawling on landing at the final flight – leaving Rachael Blackmore aboard Birdie Or Bust with the Listed contest at her mercy.

She was ridden out for a three-and-a-quarter-length success, with connections thrilled to get back to winning ways.

“Obviously we got a bit of luck, but she ran really well and we were delighted with her,” said De Bromhead.

“She definitely wasn’t herself in the north the last day, but looked back to herself today with the way she jumped and travelled. She didn’t seem herself in Down Royal.

“We will get her home and see what everyone would like to do. She has options and is lovely mare.”

There was a double on the card for De Bromhead and Blackmore when Easy Fella (4-1) made a winning stable debut in the Horse & Jockey Hotel Rated Novice Hurdle.

The trainer added: “He stays well and is a really nice horse. He jumps well despite making a few little mistakes down the back straight, but we can work on that.

“He really galloped all the way to the line and anything over hurdles is a bonus as with the size and scope of him, he looks like a chaser all over.”

Meanwhile, there was some compensation for Mullins who saw pointing field recruit Femme Magnifique (11-8 favourite) produce a scintillating display on her rules debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares INH Flat Race.

“She did that very well,” said Mullins.

“I am happy she showed her true colours on the track as things haven’t gone right with her in the autumn. I took a chance and ran her and she has done it well.

“I imagine she will stick to bumpers rather than going jumping as she can do that next season.”

The master of Closutton was also on the scoresheet with Asian Master who landed the Thank You For Supporting Us In 2023 Maiden Hurdle at the expense of stablemate Jimmy Du Seuil

The 7-1 scorer was ridden by amateur Tom Costello who was tasting success under rules for the first time aboard his mother Marie Costello’s six-year-old.

“It is great for Tom Costello to ride his first winner and I think the winner’s jumping was sharp and all his point-to-pointing experience came into play,” said Mullins.

“With his pedigree I didn’t think he could win over this trip but to be able to win over this trip on a sharp track like this, on this ground, means he must be a nice horse for the future.

“It is a great day for all the Costello family and Mrs Costello is also here. It is a nice alliance to have back.

“Jimmy Du Seuil was just a bit novicey and got out of position a little bit hoping his class might get him through but the first two horses finished well ahead of the pack so he is a nice horse as well.”

Regarding the unfortunate Fun Fun Fun, he added “I didn’t look at the re-run, but it looked to me that she stood way back off it (the final flight) and landed steeply at the back of it. Hopefully she will be all right in the morning.”