/ Racing

Carriganog impresses in Wexford win for O'Brien

Updated: Sunday, 27 Oct 2013 16:09 | Comments

Aidan O'Brien: 'He made those hurdles look small'
Aidan O'Brien: 'He made those hurdles look small'

Aidan O'Brien looks to have an exciting jumper on his hands again after the impressive success of Carriganog in the I.N.H Stallion Owners EBF Novice Hurdle at Wexford.

The four-year-old was a first jumps winner for O'Brien since the mighty Istabraq in 2001 when obliging at Clonmel earlier this month, and followed up in real style.

Sent off as the 8-11 favourite to make it two wins from as many starts over timber, he travelled and jumped well for Robbie Power before taking it up from Theatre Mill after two out.

The outcome was never in any doubt from there, as he powered 16 lengths clear of The Cookie Jar.

Like Istabraq, the winner now runs in the colours of JP McManus, who bought the Shantou gelding following his Clonmel effort.

Frank Berry, racing manager to McManus, said: "He did it grand. He handled the ground and you couldn't ask for any more. He will probably go for another novice in a few weeks' time, but we will see what Aidan wants to do.

"He looks a big chaser in the making. He made those hurdles look small."

Power said: "He was better today than he was at Clonmel. He was sharper in his jumping and he is a nice horse."

Martin Brassil has one eye on the Irish National for Double Seven, who continued his winning streak in the Listed M.W Hickey Memorial Chase.

Another in the McManus silks, the seven-year-old won the Munster National on his latest start and was settled in third by Mark Walsh before taking closer order three from home.

Despite a slight mistake at the second-last, the 5-4 favourite hit the front before the last and kept on well from to score by a comfortable five and a half lengths from Ballinahow Lady, who had attempted to make all.

Brassil said: "I thought this was a good opportunity for him today as he was well-in with a couple of horse rated below him, getting a 5lb allowance for being a novice.

"He will have a little break now until the spring. He has been improving all year and his confidence was on a high after Limerick.

"There are lots of options for him in the spring. He could possibly be an Irish National horse and there are plenty of other handicaps he could go for."

Henry de Bromhead was in double form, with Bendanella and Sizing Australia obliging for the Waterford handler.

The first-named got in the Poolcourt Construction (C & G) Maiden Hurdle as a reserve and took full advantage of his opportunity to leave his trainer purring.

Sent off at 5-1, the five-year-old was always prominent and kept on well after the last to see off only real danger Der Kaiser by three-quarters of a length.

Favourite Some Article was unplaced, while the potentially exciting It's All An Act was a non-runner.

De Bromhead said: "I was hopeful he would run well. He had good bumper form, but he was a bit disappointing at Tramore where I thought he might win. He schooled really well so I said we'd just go jumping.

"He won his point-to-point at Ballinaboola after Christmas where he beat a horse of ours Tisamystery.

"Andrew (Lynch) said his jumping was electric. Whatever he does over hurdles he will be much better over fences. I might drop him back to two miles as I thought he was just fizzling out a bit there. He is an exciting horse."

The stable doubled up as stalwart Sizing Australia (6-1) came out on top in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle.

A more familiar sight in cross-country and banks races, and winner of the cross-country race at the Cheltenham Festival in 2011, the 11-year-old was ridden and briefly headed entering the straight, but he regained the lead before the last, staying-on strongly to score by two and three-quarters of a length from Mojito Royale.

De Bromhead said: "He will go for the cross-country now at Cheltenham in November and that will leave him spot on.

"Kevin (Sexton) has been with me a few months now and he gave him a super ride. He gave him a good, strong ride and he really got a good tune out of him.

"He looked like he was beaten in the straight, but he rallied again."

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