The Gordon Elliott-trained Don Cossack scored a repeat success in the Grade 2 Ladbrokes Ireland Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles on Thursday. The winner 12 months ago, the nine-year-old was sent off a 1/8 favourite and while far from impressive, came home a comfortable nine and a half-length winner under Bryan Cooper from the long absent Wounded Warrior. Second-favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Don Cossack could be sporting headgear at the Festival in March and cheek pieces are the preferred option.
Elliott had earlier saddled Westend Star to win the 2m6f novice hurdle but he suffered a reversal when 2/1 favourite Figurative finished down the field behind the Sue Bramall-trained French import, Diamond Cauchois, who was winning at odds of 16/1. The Willie Mullins-trained Indien Rouge flopped on his first Irish start when only ninth behind 33/1 winner Rooster Byron in the 2m maiden hurdle and another outsider to win was Pat Fahy’s Aunt Nora who got up late on to pip Queens Wild in the Grade 2 mares’ novice chase.
British raider Bitofapuzzle was sent off the 30/100 favourite for the race, but she got it all wrong three fences from home and unshipped Noel Fehily. However, Fehily was quickly among the winners as he partnered the Tom Hogan-trained Coolnagorna Giggs to take the handicap chase. The father and son team of Adrian and Finny Maguire combined to win the hunters’ chase with Two Rockets, the 4/6 favourite.