French recruit Hispanic Moon made a successful debut for Henry de Bromhead in the Frontline Security Grabel Mares Hurdle at Punchestown.
A multiple winner in her homeland for David Cottin, the six-year-old was a 20-1 shot to secure Listed honours on her first start on Irish soil in the hands of Darragh O’Keeffe.
With 8-15 favourite Shecouldbeanything disappointingly failing to pick up in the straight, Hispanic Moon moved smoothly to the lead approaching the final flight and found plenty on the run-in to see off the challenge of Saylavee by a length and three-quarters.
De Bromhead said: “She did it really well and had been working nicely at home. She obviously had good form and Kieran (Mariga, owner) spotted her.
“She’s a gorgeous looking mare and I’m delighted with her today. I’d say that’s as short as she’d want and hopefully a step up in trip will suit her.”
Tullyhill was a £220,000 purchase last year for owners Cheveley Park Stud after winning his point-to-point. He made a winning bumper debut at Gowran Park in March before finding only A Dream To Share too strong in Grade One company at the Punchestown Festival.
The Willie Mullins-trained gelding was a 1-8 shot for his reappearance and hurdling bow, but the warning signs were out after a mistake before the home bend and in the end Gordon Elliott’s Shannon Royale pulled 24 lengths clear in the hands of Jack Kennedy.
“I was disappointed with him the last day and put cheek pieces on to sharpen him up,” said Elliott.
“He’d fitness on his side, but Jack said he was a different horse altogether today and maybe he just needed the run the last day.
“His jumping was good but he has been disappointing. We’ll probably look for a three-mile handicap somewhere and see what happens.” Birchdale (5-2 favourite) may have earned himself a trip to Cheltenham next month after providing trainer Enda Bolger with another winner over Punchestown’s cross-country course in the Pigsback.com Risk Of Thunder Chase.
Bolger said: “He was enjoying it anyway, which with those horses is the main thing.
“We might have a look at Cheltenham in December and he’d like a bit of nicer ground in the spring.”