O'Brien bumper duo strike out
Last Updated: February 20, 2013 5:20pm
Aidan O'Brien: Out of luck with bumper runners
Aidan O'Brien's first National Hunt runners in well over eight years failed to land a blow in the AES Family Saturday At The Festival INH Flat Race at Punchestown.
The master of Ballydoyle is no stranger to the jumping game, having trained the incredible Istabraq to win three Champion Hurdles at Cheltenham.
However, the stable's last runner under National Hunt rules was The Alamo, ridden by Coolmore supremo John Magnier's son MV, in a bumper at Tipperary in October 2004.
O'Brien saddled two runners in the Punchestown bumper, with Egyptian Warrior a particularly fascinating contender due to him being a full-brother to last year's Racing Post Trophy scorer and Epsom Derby favourite Kingsbarns.
Trading as favourite early in the morning, Egyptian Warrior (3/1) drifted prior to the start of the race and although he made some headway from the back of the field in the hands of the trainer's daughter, Sarah O'Brien, he was ultimately well beaten in fifth.
Stable companion Shield (10/1), partnered by Kate Harrington, ran a more encouraging race for a long way, but he could only find the one pace in the straight and passed the post one place ahead of Egyptian Warrior in fourth.
The race was won by Garrett Power-trained newcomer Yes Sir Brian (20/1), with Ange Balafre second and the gambled-on favourite Guns And Malt third.