Dunvegan did a four of four at Fairyhouse in the Dan And Joan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase yesterday.
at Fahy’s gray won a bumper and first hurdle on the Co Meath track four years ago – and ended the set with a handicap chase victory in late November.
With such a taste for place, it was no surprise to see the nine-year-old set up a 7/2 co-favorite to maintain his undefeated course record in this € 80,000 feature and ultimately he got the job done. with style.
After following his market rival Blackbow for much of the two-mile-one-furrow contest led by Bryan Cooper, Dunvegan was sent to the front down the straight.
Blackbow briefly threatened to rally, but Fahy’s charge won the argument over the final closing approach and jumped it right to seal a three-and-a-quarter verdict.
“When I saw him jump the second to last, I started to like him,” Fahy said. “It was simple. Before Christmas it was bouncing, but then it got a little short. We worked on him and he has shown today that he feels nothing.
“Bryan had a great ride on the horse and we have always thought about him a lot. He won two bumpers and beat a lot of winners at Punchestown. He was so impressive when he won his first hurdle here.
“He kind of went back on us and looked like a three mile hunter, but that seems to be his trip.”
Regarding future plans, the coach added: “We have it in the Queen Mother. I know you really jump in class but he didn’t hurt us so we’ll see. There is also the Dublin Racing Festival. We’re going to continue with him now and give him the chance to compete with the greats on the shorter runs.
“He wasn’t beaten here as he won his bumper, hurdles and now two chases. It’s a shame we can’t win the Irish National with him now!
Fahy was also delighted with Castlegrace Paddy, who was the best of the others in third. The 11-year-old had been off the track since suffering a broken blood vessel and stopped at Gowran Park in early October.
Top-level hurdler Saint Sam started his successful fencing career in the two-mile, one-stadium beginner’s race.
The five-year-old trained by Willie Mullins placed in several of the top juvenile races last season, including a second place finish at the Cheltenham Festival last March.
Making his chase debut, Saint Sam was the 11/10 favorite in the hands of Paul Townend and easily represented Thedevilscoachman by nine lengths.
“It’s a good old spin. He encountered fair opposition last year on the hurdles and gave a lot of weight in the Fred Winter (Boodles), ”said Townend. “He jumped well at home. They didn’t leave me alone or anything, but he won nicely in the end.
“He could go a little higher on the fences as he jumps. He’s going to have more difficult tasks ahead of him but I think, based on what he showed there, he can take it to the next level.
Gavin Cromwell and Luke Dempsey combined to land the first Fairyhouse January Jumps Hurdle with 4/1 shot from White Pepper before Red As Rust caused a 25/1 surprise under Conor Orr in the Mares’ Maiden Hurdle.
Underdog Nigel Slevin held a narrow lead when difficult Brooklynn Glory fell at the end, allowing him to come home 12 lengths over favorite 6/4 Banntown Girl.
“She had a really good race here last year in a bumper, but we kind of passed her and brought her back too fast,” said Slevin.
“We went to jump this season and she had a problem at Listowel but came back and ran well at Thurles. She was fourth there and the form worked, so we were hopeful today. She is a great mare.
Gordon Elliott’s Wall Of Fame (6/1 was two and a half lengths too good for leader Alohamora in the three-mile handicap obstacle under Jordan Gainford, while Jester Du Large (13/2) missed a comfortable three-length winner of EBF Rated Novice Chase from finalist Flash De Touzaine for Noel Meade and Eoin Walsh.
The Mullins-driven Grivei (5/6) was a hot order for the final bumper, but was denied by the 18/1 shot from Liam Burke, Heliko Conti and Finny Maguire.