Ava Rose caused in-running carnage to win the Thurles (Mares) Maiden Hurdle at Thurles today as the Philip Enright partnered mare flew by leader Botani, which matched at 1.01, close home for a narrow win.
Ava Rose was a strong-finishing third coming from off the pace at Gowran on her latest start and similar tactics were employed today with the daughter of Shirocco.
Botani held a clear lead jumping the last and while Ava Rose was still seven lengths behind in fourth, powered home and eventually caught the leader in the last strides for a neck win.
Winning three-horse trainer and full-time farrier Noel O'Neill, who handles multiple winner Ministerforsport, later stated “that was heart-stopping stuff and is a big relief.
“She is a homebred; her owner Tom O'Brien is a vet in Midleton and himself and his wife breed off a couple of mares. Ava Rose is named after her owners' grand-daughter Ava who is in Australia.
“She has a lovely pedigree and is related to Watson Lake and the biggest problem with her is trying to get her to settle; she is very buzzy.
“We rode her completely different the last day because it wasn't working on any of her previous runs and we said we'd take a punt and drop her out last. They got away on her from the front end and today we took a punt again to ride her the same way but to ride to see what the pace of the race was.
“Philip gave her an absolute peach of a ride and that's why we have the likes of him riding for us with his experience as a senior rider.”