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  • Writer's pictureHenry de Bromhead Racing

Debut defeat for returning Kilcruit

Kilcuit was over-turned as 1/14 favourite today, as Willie Mullins' star bumper horse was beaten in Cork's Follow Us On Instagram Maiden Hurdle (div I) by long-absent Largy Debut.

Runner-up in Cheltenham's festival bumper before winning Punchestown's equivalent last season, Kilcruit was making his jumps debut today and set off jumping well and chasing leader Largy Debut.

However Kilcruit became tired rounding the final bend, made mistakes at the final three hurdles and in the end failed by 10 lengths to Largy Debut.

Kilcruit's trainer Willie Mullins was represented by assistant David Casey who later commented “he (jockey Sean O'Keeffe) said he didn't travel through the race and was beaten early. We have no other excuse than that at the moment anyway. He said he jumped well but then was flat at the third last and that's why he was missing them. We'll have a look and see.”

Point-to-point winner Largy Debut was himself having a first start since March 2020 and it was also winning jockey Keith Donoghue's first winner for successful trainer Henry De Bromhead.

The trainer's assistant Davey Roche later reported “he had been working really well coming here and we thought he was a nice horse. Keith gave him a great spin around and it's great to get a nice horse for Chris (Jones).

“It was probably an ideal race for Kilcruit getting a lead of us but our fellow jumps and travels. We left it to Keith going out and to be positive away on him and see how you get on.

“He was bought as a nice horse but had small niggly things. He was ready to go last year but the ground was gone a bit dry on him and we brought him back and he has been doing everything right so far.

“Where we go after this, I don't know. He is a good horse I'd say — he jumps and travels and once they do that, you're half way there.”

The race also marked the end of a record-breaking nine-race winning spell for trainer Gordon Elliott, who won seven consecutive winners at Navan yesterday and today's opening races at Cork and Punchestown. His runner Sharp Focus raced third throughout, and was beaten 34 lengths by winner Largy Debut.

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