Rachael Blackmore and Paul Townend continue to battle for this season's Jockeys' Championship with Blackmore closing the gap to two, at Townend's expense, on Hurricane Cliff, winner of the opening Naas Business Club Members Maiden Hurdle (Div I) at Naas today.
The market predicted a match between Hurricane Cliff (13/8 second-favourite) and Townend's mount Captain Kangaroo (4/9f), one-time conqueror of Kilcruit, and so it turned out with Hurricane Cliff eventually shaking off Captain Kangaroo on the run-in to score with ears pricked.
The win moves Blackmore to 77 wins this term, two shy of three-times Champion Townend.
Following the race winning trainer Henry De Bromhead stated “I was a bit disappointed with him in Leopardstown at Christmas so we said we’d sit with him and wait a bit longer.
“He ran well at Punchestown and it’s lovely to see him go and do it here.
“He’s learning all the time and is a lovely big scopey horse. He should be good over a fence in time.
“We’ll aim for the Festivals here later on in the spring. I’m delighted to get that for Angus Potterton and the Molesworth Syndicate.”