Henry de Bromhead Racing
Monty's the Star as de Bromhead claims Clonmel feature again
Monty's Star proved too strong for stablemate Hiddenvalley Lake in a thrilling finish to the Surehaul Mercedes-Benz Novice Hurdle at Clonmel this afternoon.
The latter went to post an 8/13 shot in the Grade 3 contest having already won at this level in Cork in December.
Rachael Blackmore made the running on the hotpot but he was joined by Search For Glory after a mistake three from home.
There were three in a line heading to the second last as Monty's Star travelled well to challenge on the outer for Sean Flanagan.
The two Henry de Bromhead-trained horses battled it out from the second last and it was the maiden Monty's Star who found more on the run-in to stick his head out and secure a half length win.
Monty's Star, a half-brother to owner Barry Maloney's Monalee, had been a staying on second in a Navan maiden hurdle, over two-and-a-half miles, last month.
“I'm delighted with that and Sean gave him a great ride. He has taken a long time, he is a big big horse and ran really well in his maiden hurdle at Navan when he was a bit green,” said de Bromhead.
"He had done a season with Colin Bowe but is so big and raw. He has just taken all this time, it is amazing, so you'd hope he will continue to improve and he has the size and scope of a chaser. He has the pedigree as well.
"We tried this race in the past with (Minella) Indo and Monalee so we said we'd give it a go to see would he stay and he duly did. He is in the Albert Bartlett and that's where we're going now."
He added:- "I think Hiddenvalley Lake ran well but struggled on the ground, which is tough, and he'll be better for better ground. He was also giving away weight.
"He is also in the Albert Bartlett and is entitled to go but we'll see what everyone wants to do. Indo was beaten by Allaho in this race a few years ago so it is a good race."
It was the second winner for Flanagan since he returned from injury. The rider fractured three vertebrae in October.