Brian Cooper made a remarkable run as he raced the Joseph O’Brien-trained Midnight Race to victory in the Grade 2 Craddockstown Novice Chase at Punchestown on Saturday. In the colors of Gigginstown House Stud, the eight-year-old ran all-out to beat the Gordon Elliott-trained Mars Harper and Davy Russell by an easy nine lengths at odds of 7/4.
ooper completed the double as the 7/4 winner Another Chance, this time the favorite in the race, in the classified Novices’ Hurdle. Again he had an easy time in it as The Model Kingdom, trained by Noel Mead, and beat the 9/4 Emmet Mullins-trained Halibut by four and four lengths.
However, she lost Cooper’s prop by a triple to Jack Kennedy. Once again all of his winners trained by Gordon Elliott, the pair took the first hurdle with the 11/8 absolute favorite owned by Robcour and followed that with the 8/15 favorite Queen’s Brook, in the colors of Bective Stud, in the Listed Grabel Mares hurdle. Owned by Bull On Syndicate, the 11/4 favorite Jungle Prose completed Kennedy’s hat-trick with a nine-length win in the three-mile handicap.
Kennedy and Elliott were also on the score sheet at Punchestown on Sunday as Cheltenham Festival winner Delta Work carried on home to win the Thunder Chase stakes over the Banks course. The 4/6 favorite was made the 40/1 favorite to beat John Walsh at Singing Banjo by a short head in the colors of Gigginstown House Stud.
Cooper and Noel Mead won in Cork for the second day in-a-row as Farsieur du Large won the Handicap Chase over two miles and six furlongs. Another in Color’s Gigginstown House Stud Chance was 11/1 in front before the second last fence and fought away to win by a length and three quarters from the Seamus Fahey-trained Take All.
Monbeg Park gave Cooper another winner as he took the two mile five furlong first hurdle of brothers Sean and Donnchad Doyle in fine style. The 9/4 Chance made a mistake on the penultimate flight but recovered to take the last-place lead and pull away to win by two and three lengths from the Will Doe and the Jack Kennedy-trained Gordon Elliott.
Another Kerry jockey, Philip Enright of Tralee, was in the winners’ fold in Cork on Sunday, when his long-standing partnership with Robert Tyner produced big debates to win the handicap chase over the two-mile ride. A 5/1 chance, owned by Maurice Keeler, drove near the end to score with a header from Embittered trainer Joseph O’Brien, a fourth career success for the nine-year-old.
Earlier in the week, at Fairyhouse on Tuesday, Kennedy rode two of Gordon Elliott’s three winners. The pair comfortably won the opening two races on the card with Harmonya Maker owned by Tim O’Driscoll taking the mares’ first hurdle by 18 lengths. The 7/4 Chance took most of the running and was too strong for the Gavin Cromwell trained 10/11 favorite Law Ella in her seasonal and exciting debut.
Kennedy was also in the saddle as Jerry Columbus landed the novice’s chase in Robcour colours. The 6/5 favorite made light of an absence of nearly 11 months as he beat Willie Mullins’ 9/4 Bronn Chance by two and three parts of a length. At Silk Gigginstown House Stud, Search For Glory completed the trainer’s triple in the closing bumper. Harry Swan enjoyed an easy time in the saddle as the five-year-old brought home a four and three length winner from the Elmarie-trained Zaidi Holden at odds of 4/9.
Elliott won the opening two races at Clonmel on Thursday with Kennedy and Davey Russell taking the winners. Kennedy shared the 9/2 Chance of Landrake in a one and a quarter length success at the opening two-mile, three-furlong maiden hurdle, scoring the five-year-old over the Eugene O’Sullivan-trained Corbetts Cross.
Russell then stepped in to win the first two mile hurdle at auction at 5/1 shot The Four Sixes in the colors of the McNeill and Stone families. The four-year-old took the best favorite Henry de Bromhead by a length and a half.