Bryan Cooper secures first win in new job for Gigginstown Stud on Toner D’Oudairies

‘It is great to get a winner for Gigginstown, they have been very good to me since the start’

Bryan Cooper speaks to trainer Paul Nolan after winning on King Vuvuzela at Leopardstown. The Co Kerry jockey had his first winner, Toner D’Oudairies, as first jockey to Gigginstown Stud at Thurles.

Bryan Cooper speaks to trainer Paul Nolan after winning on King Vuvuzela at Leopardstown. The Co Kerry jockey had his first winner, Toner D’Oudairies, as first jockey to Gigginstown Stud at Thurles.

Mon, Jan 6, 2014, 22:14

Bryan Cooper secured his first win in his new job as Gigginstown House Stud’s main jockey at just the second attempt when Toner D’Oudairies landed the feature event at Thurles.

Just 30 minutes after falling at the last on Gigginstown’s Desertmore Stream, Cooper, 21, made sure he would not be waiting too long to get off the mark. The Listed Thurles Racecourse Supporters Club Chase had its own sub-plot as Davy Russell, the man Cooper replaced after seven years in the role, was on a fellow Gigginstown runner, Make A Track.

However, the race appeared to revolve around Willie Mullins’ Rupert Lamb and the 6/4 favourite was going great guns at the head of affairs until he came down four from home. That left Gordon Elliott’s grand servant Toner D’Oudairies (3/1) in front and he found enough to see off Letter Of Credit by two lengths.

‘Great to get a winner’
Cooper said: “He was entitled to do that. It is great to get a winner for Gigginstown, they have been very good to me since the start.

“I knew this horse and I had won on him in the past, so I knew his form was very good. It is great to have those choices to make (of what to ride).”

Elliott said: “I thought he might need it a bit, but he has been a good servant and it was nice to get Bryan off to a good start.

“He will come back here for a conditions chase in a few weeks’ time.” This race was previously run as a Grade Three but was downgraded this year.

Mullins may have been out of luck in the feature event but he still notched a double. He finally coaxed a win out of Urano (10-11 favourite) at the seventh time of asking in the thurles.ie Maiden Hurdle after finishing second five times and clipping heels and coming down when looking likely to win last time out. Mullins put the win down to a change in tactics.

‘Seventh time of asking’
“That is the seventh time of asking but obviously the trainer was getting it wrong all the time as he now appears to want a trip,” said Mullins.

“We had been making the running with him over two miles but dropping him in over a longer trip seems to be the key to him.

“He works like a two-mile horse at home but he looked good at that trip today and we now know he stays.

“We were hoping he would do that after his run the last day when we thought that if he got daylight he would have shot clear.

“With the change in tactics we could bring him back to two and a half miles, and at least now he is showing us what he shows on the gallops.”

His first winner
Ruby Walsh was on Urano, while Patrick Mullins rode Beluckyagain (11/4) to victory in the Holycross Mares Flat Race. Carrigeen Kariega (25/1) provided 21-year-old jockey John Lalor with his first winner, trained by his dad, Dick, in the

Thurles Racecourse Handicap Chase. Dick Lalor said: “That is the young lad’s first winner and he is 21. He had a big smile on his face passing the post and I am delighted to give him his first track winner. He won a point-to-point on her as well.

“She has two ways of running, but everything went right today. She likes the softer ground and she will be kept on the go in staying chases now.”