It may have been the pair's first ever visit to Newcastle races but that did not stop rider Bryan Cooper and trainer Henry De Bromhead from combining to snare the StanJames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle today with Identity Thief – winner of the 2015 WKD Hurdle at Down Royal. Given a brilliantly cool ride by Cooper, Gigginstown House Stud's 6-1 chance made much of the running, was then headed by Top Notch, took that rival's measure only to appear to have lost the battle after a bad mistake at the last. However, using all his strength, Cooper got Identity Thief back going again to prevail by a neck - a remarkable achievement from a horse who had not seen a racecourse for the first time until less than a year ago. The Willie Mullins-trained Wicklow Brave was back in third under Ruby Walsh.
Davy Russell rode Tombstone to an impressive 5-4 success for the stable in the first division of the Like Fairyhouse On Facebook Maiden Hurdle in the silks of Gigginstown House Stud.
ARCTIC FIRE, runner up 2014 WKD Hurdle at Down Royal finally got off the mark in Grade 1 company when landing today's Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse at odds of 4-5 under a confident Ruby Walsh.The Willie Mullins-trained horse, so often the bridesmaid for Faugheen last season, travelled strongly throughout the race and had everything covered coming into the straight. He eased away for a comfortable four-length win over Alpha Des Obeaux in the colours of Wicklow Bloodstock (Ireland) Ltd.
Winner of the 2012 WKD Hurdle at Down Royal was back in action at Fairyhouse on Sunday and ran on nicely to claim second place behind No More Heroes, (4th place in the 2013 Tayto Group Maiden Hurdle at Down Royal) in the Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice.
Missy Tata, winner of the Value Cabs 3-Y-o Hurdle at Down Royal in November came runner up in the Grade 3 Bar One Racing Juvenile Hurdle at Fairy house on Sunday.