Hidden Cyclone shows promise at Naas
Racing: Hidden Cyclone provided Shark Hanlon with his first winner from over 100 runners and fuelled big-race dreams in the process by claiming the Murray Spelman Insurance Supporting Kildare GAA Poplar Square Chase at Naas.
Always held in the highest regard by Hanlon, the seven-year-old had been off the track since meeting only his second career defeat behind the top-class Sir Des Champs at Leopardstown in January.
Reappearing over an inadequate two miles, he jumped a bit sketchily at times but his undoubted class shone through as he took up the running on the bridle.
With the race apparently won Hidden Cyclone (2-1) ran around a bit after the last and Andrew McNamara needed to straighten him up, but he held off the useful and race-fit Foildubh by a length and a half.
“He hadn’t run for nine months so he wouldn’t have been spot on for this. He’ll improve in his fitness and jumping,” said Hanlon. “He’s going to be a three-mile chaser and today was only two miles. Andrew said he was a bit leery after the last but he had plenty in the tank.
“He would want to improve his jumping, but he won’t run at two miles (again). He’ll be up to two and a half. There’s a nice race for him at Gowran in a month’s time. He’s won twice at Leopardstown so there’s no reason we wouldn’t go for the Lexus.”
The rest of the card was dominated by Jessica Harrington, who was at the Newmarket sales, as she had a treble.
Arguably the highlight of the hat-trick was the victory of Jenari in an informative Weatherbys Ireland GSB Beginners Chase.
Jenari looked booked for minor honours at best turning into the straight as Far Away So Close was tracked by Mount Benbulben and Dylan Ross.
Not for the first time, however, Dylan Ross began to tread water close home and Jenari (9-2) stayed on powerfully to win going away by a length and a quarter.
Frank Berry, racing manager to owner JP McManus, said: “That was grand first time. He popped away grand. We’ll look for a winners of one somewhere. He handled conditions well and we’ll stick to two miles for the time being.”
Jockey Robbie Power also won the DSM Demolition Supporting Kildare GAA Hurdleon Harrington’s Maller Tree (9-2).
“He quickened up real well and I was delighted with him, he’s been working well at home and I’d say he’s a better horse this year than he was last year,” said Power.
Barry Geraghty won on his only ride of the day on Harrington’s Jezki, making his debut over obstacles in the O’Callaghan Hotels Supporting Kildare GAA Maiden Hurdle.
Ally Cascade looked to have done enough with a decent leap at the last but was soon treading water and Jezki (7-4) rallied for a three-quarters of a length win.
“He was a good bumper horse, he won two and ran well at Cheltenham,” said Geraghty. “I’d say that race didn’t really suit him as he was a bit novicey over the first few but he jumped the last four really well.
“I felt I was going to win easy going to last but he was a little bit deliberate and Davy (Russell) got away from me a little bit but once I got stuck into him I got away with it.”
Back In A Tic (10-1) won the Copper Face Jacks Supporting Kildare GAA Brown Lad Handicap Hurdle, while the Joe Mallon Motors Supporting Kildare GAA Handicap Hurdlewent to 9-2 chance Worldor.
Thunder And Roses (10-11 favourite) was an effortless winner of the bumper for Dessie Hughes, who was also on the mark at Galway with the classy Lyreen Legend, who won on his chasing debut.