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Briar Hill proves a thorn in the side of Wexford rivals

Updated: Tuesday, 19 Nov 2013 21:19 | Comments

Briar Hill beat a modest bunch of horses at Wexford to remain unbeaten under Rules
Briar Hill beat a modest bunch of horses at Wexford to remain unbeaten under Rules

Cheltenham Bumper winner Briar Hill made a successful debut over timber in the Supporters Club AGM & Table Quiz Maiden Hurdle at Wexford.

Sent off at the prohibitive odds of 1-9 against vastly inferior rivals, Ruby Walsh made sure there would be no hard-luck stories on the favourite by taking up the running in the early stages.

Despite jumping a little to his left at his hurdles, it was nothing to set any alarm bells ringing and he put in an accurate round.

Once Walsh wound up the pace half a mile from home, he had his rivals on the stretch.

Molly Connors ran a promising race on debut in second, but she was no match for the impressive winner, who held an 11-length advantage at the line.

Walsh said: "Wexford is not a track that would suit his strengths but I'm delighted he won.

"He jumped super and travelled very well.

"I didn't feel like he was going that quick, but he's a Grade One Cheltenham Festival winner."

Mullins said: "I think the Royal Bond will come too soon for him so I'll consider the Navan Novice Hurdle (15 December)."

Any hopes Mullins and Walsh had of a double were dashed when 9-10 favourite Royal Moll was beaten into third behind Diyala in the Support Wexford Racecourse Mares Novice Hurdle.

Barry Geraghty looked to have made a decisive move when pulling clear before the last on Gordon Elliott's 3-1 chance, but a slight mistake gave Kilbarry Beauty hope, and her finish was just denied by a head.

Henry De Bromhead and Andrew Lynch enjoyed a double, culminating in Wilde Sapphire's emphatic success in the Gorey Handicap Hurdle.

Lynch pushed the 5-1 chance well clear before the turn for home and he came home six and a quarter lengths clear of Wooly Tom.

The first leg of the double started when Grey Monk took the Slaney Maiden Hurdle, though he had to work hard to score.

Dave's Stamper would not leave the 1-3 favourite alone, but he pecked on landing at the last, allowing Andrew Lynch to get the market leader home by a length and a quarter.

Speckled Wood (2-1 favourite) may have a long way to go to emulate her dam Like-A-Butterfly, but she jumped well enough to land the Follow Us On Facebook And Twitter Mares Beginners Chase.

Foritsa (8-1) took the Enniscorthy Handicap Chase under Ben Dalton, while 14-1 chance Loch Dara took the Rosslare Hunters Chase.

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