Photo: Nichols Canyon and Ruby Walsh winning “The Stanjames Morgiana Hurdle” at a foggy Punchestown on Sunday. Photographer: Alain Barr
What a ‘Super Sunday’ for Henry de Bromhead this past weekend! On Sunday, there were meetings at Punchestown and Cork and the local Knockeen handler was responsible for an across-the-card three-timer.
De Bromhead travelled to Punchestown where he saddled two winners with stable-star Identity Thief continuing his upward trajectory over fences by recording his second success over the larger obstacles in the Grade 2 Ryans Cleaning Craddockstown Novice Chase.
Identity Thief, winner of last season’s Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle, was sent off the 2/5 favourite to supplement his beginners chase success at this same venue last month. He faced just four opponents including his two stable companions Ordinary World and Attribution.
Identity Thief tracked Ordinary World virtually throughout and he moved through with Bryan Cooper to lead on the run-in.
At the post, identity Thief had one-length to spare over Ordinary World whilst Attribution completed a one-two-three for the in-form de Bromhead by returning a further three lengths adrift in third spot.
De Bromhead later intimated that Identity Thief, one of five winners on the day for Gigginstown House Stud, will now be aimed for a Grade 1 two miles one furlong novice chase at Leopardstown over the Christmas period.
Identity Thief is now incidentally available at 10/1 ante-post for the Grade 1 Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in a shade under four months time. Monalee completed de Bromhead’s brace at the Co Kildare venue by making a stylish debut over flights in the INH Stallion Owners European Breeders Fund Maiden Hurdle over two miles six furlongs.
Monalee, who was purchased privately by de Bromhead on owner Barry Maloney’s behalf after winning a Templenacarriga maiden point-to-point this past January, was well-supported on the strength of his two second-placed bumper efforts in the spring and he went off the joint 3/1 second favourite.
Monalee led from the third flight and he readily asserted with jockey David Mullins on the run to the final flight to see off The Storyteller by one and three quarter lengths.
De Bromhead later alluded to Monalee as a potential chaser in the making and the reality is that the Milan-sired gelding must be followed with interest for the remainder of the season.
At Cork, Waterford city native Dylan Robinson was on board de Bromhead’s Peace News who effortlessly justified 7/4 favouritism in the www.racinghomeforeaster.com Maiden Hurdle for four-year-olds’.
Peace News, a former flat winner in France that was amongst the batch of horses that owners’ Gigginstown House Stud transferred to de Bromhead in late-September, assumed command in this 24-runner event between the final two flights to contain Chirico Vallis by two and a half lengths. The German-bred Peace News holds an entry in the Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse in two weeks time.
On Thursday, Clonmel’s main meeting of the year took place with the Grade 2 Clonmel Oil Chase occupying centre stage at the Powerstown Park venue.
Some seven runners went to post in the featured two and a half mile contest and the Willie Mullins-trained Alelchi Inois was sent off favourite. The market-leader won, but the reality is that he was fortunate to do so as the Gordon Elliot-trained Outlander led from before the second last and he seemed to be going best with a three-length advantage when cruelly falling at the final fence. Alelchi Inois, a creditable third in the prestigious Gran Prix Chase at Merano in Italy on his previous start in September, was the one to take advantage and the victorious French-bred duly defeated Clarcam by five lengths.
Mullins and Alelchi Inois’ jockey Ruby Walsh departed with three winners for they also took the Grade 3 EBF TA Morris Memorial Mares’ Chase with Westerner Lady whilst they signed off courtesy of Miss Me Now in the closing Clonmel Oil Slan Abhaile Hurdle.