THE going was good to firm and a decent sized attendance watched Datokepe make the step up to three miles for the first time and he ran out an easy winner of the feature FBD Insurance Hurdle at Kilbeggan Races on Saturday last.
Bryan Cooper was always travelling sweetly on the Dessie Hughes-trained seven-year-old, who hasn’t had much racing and looks to be on the upgrade.
The 10-11 favourite took charge at the fourth-last flight and was untroubled thereafter, stretching away before the last to beat Brownpolish by a comfortable seven lengths.
Davy Russell performed a minor miracle to get Sorted home in front in a desperately tight finish to the IFA Members’ Services Beginners Chase.
Conor O’Dwyer’s charge (7-1) was reluctant at the start and then dashed into the lead, staying there until close home, where he was under strong pressure to hold Model County Lass’s late charge by a short head.
It was a second success for Russell, who had it a bit easier on the Henry de Bromhead-trained Lord Ben (9-2 favourite) in the Cornaher Handicap Hurdle, sending him on approaching three out and winning by six lengths.
Gordon Elliott’s four-year-old Priors Gold is proving a tricky customer and he gave his backers a real scare before taking the Tullamore Maiden Hurdle.
Not for the first time the 7-4 favourite ran about on the run to the last flight and Davy Condon had to fight to get him over it before he powered away by five and a half lengths, having done the placed horses no favours.
The Eoin Doyle-trained Raggletagglegypsy had finished second on his previous two starts so he certainly wasn’t winning out of turn in the Kinnegad Maiden Hurdle.
Mikey Butler was taking no chances and led some way out before stoking him up to forge into a winning lead on the home turn. The 2-1 favourite galloped on strongly to score by nine lengths.
5.45pm Tullamore Maiden Hurdle of €7,500 2m
1st 7 Priors Gold (GB) 7/4 fav, 2nd 6 Peccatorum (IRE) 6/1, 3rd 8 Rusty Halo (IRE) 10/1, 4th 10 Summersinerrill (IRE) 11/2.
6.15pm Kinnegad Maiden Hurdle of €7,500 2m 3f
1st 12 Raggletagglegypsy (IRE) 2/1 fav, 2nd 1 Eightybarackstreet (IRE) 7/2, 3rd 9 Hang up my Boots (IRE) 16/1, 4th 11 Oscar Hill (IRE) 7/2.
6.45pm Cornaher Handicap Hurdle (Rated 81 – 116) of €10,000 2m 3f
1st 10 Lord Ben (IRE) 9/2 fav, 2nd 2 Vivaldi (IRE) 18/1, 3rd 16 Teak (IRE) 8/1, 4th 12 Schinkel (IRE) 10/1.
7.20pm FBD Insurance Hurdle of €15,000 3m
1st 2 Datokepe (IRE) 10/11 fav, 2nd 1 Brownpolish (GB) 14/1, 3rd 8 Our Victoria (IRE) 7/2, 4th 6 Skip Two (IRE) 8/1.
7.50pm IFA Members’ Services Beg Steeplechase of €8,000 2m 4f
1st 7 Sorted (IRE) 7/1, 2nd 12 Model County Lass (IRE) 9/4 fav, 3rd 1 Aces and Kings (IRE) 14/1, 4th 13 Present Promise (IRE) 12/1.
8.20pm Belvedere House & Gardens Handicap Steeplechase (Rated 0-123) of €14,500 3m 1f
1st 8 Guts For Garters (IRE) 10/3 fav, 2nd 7 Not Before Eight (IRE) 8/1, 3rd 11 Kells Castle (GB) 16/1, 4th 4 Annie May (IRE) 5/1.
8.50pm Kilbegganraces.ie (Pro-Am) INH Flat Race of €7,000 2m
1st 8 Peak Oil (GB) 8/1, 2nd 6 Fairview Star (IRE) 7/1, 3rd 1 Book’em Danno (IRE) 14/1, 4th 3 Cebuano (GB) 4/7 fav.