Barry Geraghty and Falcon Crest enjoy decisive success at Navan
Riverside City led a Gordon Elliott one-two in the Ladbroke Troytown Chase
File photo - Barry Geraghty steered Falcon Crest to victory at Navan Photograph: Tim Goode/PA Wire.
Barry Geraghty steered Falcon Crest to a decisive success in the “Monksfield” Novice Hurdle at Navan.
The Christy Roche-trained five-year-old was sent off at 100-30 having cruised to victory on his hurdling debut at Fairyhouse earlier in the month and Geraghty always appeared confident he had matters in hand throughout the Grade Two assignment.
Moylisha Tim and Dallas Cowboy ensured a strong pace and they remained at the head of affairs at the top of the home straight, but Falcon Crest moved ominously into contention.
Dallas Cowboy was sticking to his task well when suffering a crashing fall at the second-last, with Falcon Crest fortunate not to get brought down.
Geraghty took aim at Moylisha Tim approaching the final flight and Falcon Crest picked up well once popped the question to seal the deal by six and a half lengths.
Riverside City led home stable companion Georges Conn to give trainer Gordon Elliott a one-two in a dramatic Ladbrokes Troytown Chase. The Cullentra handler, successful in last year’s renewal with Balbriggan, declared four horses for the prestigious handicap, but his team was halved after Azorian and Bonisland were taken out.
Empire Of Dirt and Kylecrue disputed the lead throughout and remained to the fore at the top of the home straight. Empire Of Dirt was still in with every chance when crashing out three fences from the finish. Six horses were in contention after jumping the next, after which in-form mare Ballychorus started to assert.
However, she was being reeled in by the Elliott duo when she came to grief at the last.
Her departure left the stablemates clear and it was Riverside City (8-1) who emerged victorious by a length and three-quarters under 16-year-old conditional Jack Kennedy.
Kylecrue was 14 lengths back in third.
Douvan made a near-perfect start to his career over fences with an impressive display in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Beginners Chase.
The French recruit won each of his four starts after joining Willie Mullins last season and was a brilliant winner of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham and the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown.
A prohibitively priced 2-11 favourite for his eagerly-awaited comeback and chasing debut, Douvan was sent straight to the lead by Ruby Walsh and jumped with accuracy and speed for much of the two-mile-one-furlong journey.
The five-year-old found an extra gear to leave Rogue Trader and Blair Perrone trailing in his wake between the final two fences and while his supporters suffered a brief heart-stopping moment when he guessed slightly at the final fence, he got to the other side in one piece and quickened away for a nine-and-a-half-length success.
Rogue Trader beat Blair Perrone to the runner-up spot. Coral cut Douvan to 6-4 favourite from 2-1 for the Racing Post Arkle Trophy.
Trainer Willie Mullins said: “He jumped well. I don’t think we learned anything except that he’s able to jump fences. “We probably learned he’s able to handle himself when he stood too far back off the fence. He was cute enough and got his two feet out and recovered well, which is a good sign in a horse. “Ruby said the horses coming behind revved him up a bit, which is no harm, he got some experience. Otherwise it was probably just a schooling session for him, but we’ll take those when we get them. “He was fairly well forward, but he’s a big, angular horse and doesn’t carry a lot of condition. “The Racing Post (Novice Chase) at Leopardstown would look the next race. I don’t think we’ve got time to put another run in. He’ll probably just have a good schooling session somewhere.”
Baroque Style dominated his rivals from the front in the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust Handicap Hurdle.
Turning out just four days after finishing fourth at Fairyhouse, Gordon Elliott’s charge was a heavily-supported 2-1 favourite in the hands of crack conditional Jack Kennedy.
The market leader was soon bowling along at the head of affairs and picked up well in the straight to secure a five-length victory over Crowded Room.
Elliott said: “Jack gave him a good ride and it’s great for the boys (Tom Howley and Ollie Murphy, owners). “He’s a low-grade handicapper, he is what he is. I didn’t know what trip he wanted, but he probably enjoyed being up there.”
Augusta Kate kept her unbeaten record intact with a comfortable success in the Coolmore N.H. Sires European Breeders Fund Mares INH Flat Race.
A daughter of Yeats out of unbeaten race mare Feathard Lady, the Willie Mullins-trained four-year-old is certainly bred for the job and made a huge impression when scoring by upwards of 23 lengths on her racecourse debut at Listowel in September.
Sent off the 4-6 favourite stepped up to Listed class, Augusta Kate sat second for much of the journey as Cashelard Lady cut out the running. They remained in that order after the turn for home, but Augusta Kate clearly had more in the tank and quickened up well once let down by Patrick Mullins to score by seven lengths.
The winner carries the colours of the Masters Syndicate, made up of leading owners Andrea and Graham Wylie, golfer Lee Westwood, agent Chubby Chandler, ex-footballer Alan Shearer and television presenters Ant and Dec.