Toner is Punchestown star
Last Updated: 18/10/13 11:53am
Gordon Elliott: Trained big-race winner
Toner D'Oudairies may not have been the most-fancied contender for Gigginstown House Stud, but he proved the best on the day as he led a clean sweep of the places for the leading owner in the Star Best For Racing Chase at Punchestown.
The race saw the return of the top-class First Lieutenant but Mouse Morris had warned prior to the contest that his stable star may need the run and while he held every chance at the last, he faded into third.
Roi Du Mee, seeking a hat-trick in the race, was there to be shot at in the straight under Davy Condon and he looked like holding on until well after the last when fellow Gordon Elliott inmate Toner D'Oudairies (8/1) quickened up for Bryan Cooper to win by three-quarters of a length.
Cooper only got the ride when his intended mount Tofino Bay was pulled out due to the ground.
Elliott said: "It was touch and go whether we even ran Toner (on the ground) and I was hoping Roi would win as he tries his heart out and fell the last day. He lost nothing in defeat.
"Toner nearly went to the sales the other week. He doesn't have much confidence in bigger fields. We've won this race for the last three years which is great.
"This was his Gold Cup today, he'll probably follow the route we take with Roi Du Mee."
Art Of Logistics looks an exciting young horse for Dessie Hughes and Cooper this season after comfortably landing the Buck House Novice Chase.
Won by subsequent Arkle runner-up Baily Green 12 months ago, a select field was assembled but Takestan fell at the first and Saint Gervais was another early casualty.
Six Stone Ned set a decent pace throughout and despite Art Of Logistics briefly looking in trouble on the home turn, he soon came back on the bridle and was not hard pressed to come home a five-and-a-half-length winner as the even-money favourite. Darwins Fox was a well-beaten third.
"He's a nice novice to have," said Hughes.
"It's very seldom we have any two-milers and I think he's a two-miler."
Hughes had earlier struck with the Gigginstown-owned Somethingwonderful (15/8) in the Buy Your 2014 Annual Badge Maiden Hurdle.
Jessica Harrington's Cailin Annamh (8/11 favourite) won for the fifth time in her last seven starts when staying on strongly to win the Grade Three Grabel Mares Hurdle.
The drop back in trip to two and a quarter miles appeared to have found her out with half a mile to run as Barry Geraghty was hard at work.
Little King Robin had seen off first Top Madam and then Harrington's Takeyourcapoff, but Geraghty stuck to the rail and got a dream run up the inside, taking it up at the last before powering away to win by five lengths.
"She's had a great time in the mares' races and I must thank the pattern committee for putting on such a lovely program," said Harrington.
"She had a great run of it during the summer and was able to take a step up in class each time and the races were all spread out nicely.
"Two-miles-two (furlongs) is too short for her and I was taking a chance today and she'll probably end up being a three-mile filly.
"She has got big black-type now and we'll bring her back in the spring."
Tabhachtach (7/1) stayed on powerfully after the final flight to win the 10 euro Admission All Non Festival Racedays Handicap Hurdle.
Shay Slevin's charge looked booked for second between the final two hurdles as World Citizen made a bid for home.
However, Mark Slevin wisely tracked a loose horse which seemed to revitalise his mount and he stayed on strongly to win by three and a half lengths.
"The ground is a help to him - he wouldn't want it too soft. He's done nothing wrong and Mark gets the best out of him," said the winning trainer.
Too Late To Sell was a 14/1 winner in the Ingoldsby (Q.R.) Handicap Chase while Neck Or Nothing (16/1) landed the closing equuslive.com Flat Race.