Forge Meadow earns Royal Bond ticket
A review of Tuesday's meeting at Wexford where Forge Meadow made a winning start to her jumping career.
Jessica Harrington: Trains Forge Meadow
Forge Meadow is set for an immediate step up to the highest level after making a winning start to her jumping career in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Mares Maiden Hurdle.
The winner of a valuable bumper at Fairyhouse in the spring before finding Augusta Kate too strong in a Listed event at the Punchestown Festival, Jessica Harrington's filly was 15-8 for her reappearance in the hands of Robbie Power.
Forge Meadow battled her way to the lead in the straight and saw off talented Flat performer Toe The Line by a short head, with Theatre Dreams the same distance away in third.
The winner is set to contest the Grade One Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Sunday week.
Harrington said: "It was a good performance from her as she hadn't run since Punchestown, and it was her first run over hurdles.
"She jumped great, but early on she was a bit keen, and she was jumping a bit up in the air. When he needed her she jumped great.
"I'm really pleased because that ground is heavy and she obviously goes on it. She really was fresh and well.
"She is in the Royal Bond and she will probably end up going there. It's a nice distance and she'll end up getting a 7lb mares' allowance.
"She is entitled to go there, her jumping might be a bit novicey but she'll improve."
Crack Tiepy made a successful debut for Willie Mullins in the Slaney Hurdle.
Receiving lumps of weight from her major rivals, the 4-9 favourite cruised clear under Ruby Walsh to score by two and three-quarter lengths.
Walsh said: "When you are getting 17lb it's a big help. She availed of all the allowances and it is a huge pull.
"She had plenty of experience, she has had five or six runs over fences in France, so she had a lot of experience over the others as well.
"I don't know where Willie will go with her now. If she ended up winning half the races Pomme Tiepy won we'd be happy enough."
Mullins and Walsh doubled up with Daisy's Gift in the Kerlogue Mares Beginners Chase.
A Listed winner over hurdles and runner-up to prolific stablemate Airlie Beach on her latest start at Gowran Park, the 8-1 shot comfortably made it third time lucky over fences.
Even-money favourite Slowmotion fell at the first fence.
"She has very good form in the book over hurdles. She fell at Kilbeggan on her first run over fences and got a fright," said Walsh.
"She didn't jump well at Galway, she was very, very careful. So it was back to the drawing board a bit with her then. She then had a run at Gowran and was second to Airlie Beach.
"She had a lot of schooling done since. It was a strong gallop today, and it turned into a test of stamina and that suited her.
"After falling on her first run, and jumping so badly on her second run, our priority was to get around today.
"I don't know where she'll go now."
Sutton Manor opened his account in the Supporters Club AGM Maiden Hurdle.
Runner-up in a point-to-point, a bumper and on his hurdling debut at Fairyhouse earlier in the month, Gordon Elliott's 4-5 favourite comfortably got off the mark with a five-and-a-half-length success.
Elliott said: "He won it grand but it probably wasn't the strongest race in the world.
"I'd say we will step him up in trip now and he'll go three miles.
"He was a big weak horse and he just needed time.
"He'll be a grand horse to jump a fence in time."
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