Cedarwood Road (maroon and white stripes) is about to challenge on the inner
© Photo Healy Racing
Cedarwood Road took the opening race of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival meeting, the Bet With The Tote Maiden Hurdle, in tremendous style for owner and course committee member Chris Jones.
Trained near Dunshaughlin by Gearoid McLoughlin, the 7/1 chance cruised into contention early in the straight and, with the final hurdle omitted due to the low lying sun, stretched right away inside the final furlong to score by 11 lengths under Davy Russell.
Jungle Junction kept on one paced to take the runner-up spot, with Fils Spirituel another half a length away in third.
O’Loughlin said, “I’ve always liked him at home and he’s as good as I’ve ever had. The plan was to come here for either a bumper or a hurdle and go chasing next season. He jumps so well we decided to go for a hurdle here.
“He’ll probably only have one more run this season and could come back here for the Dublin Racing Festival.
“I’m from Clare originally and have five horses riding out so to have a winner at Leopardstown on St Stephen’s Day means a massive amount to me.
“I started off with the Costello’s and was also with Enda Bolger and Jim Bolger. I only have my licence just over a year and I have Space Cadet in the Welsh National at Chepstow tomorrow.
“We’re flying out tonight and I think he has a good each-way chance at around 40/1.”