Thief hacks up on chase debut

Grade One-winning hurdler Identity Thief made a foot-perfect start to life over fences in the Download The BETDAQ App Beginners Chase at Punchestown.

Identity Thief made a winning debut over fences

Henry de Bromhead's big hope won the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle last season and went on to finish sixth in the Champion Hurdle behind Annie Power.

For the large majority, the race only concerned the long odds-on favourite and O Ceallaigh, with Identity Thief's jockey David Mullins comfortable to ask for a long one when he saw a stride.

The 2/11 favourite coasted home to win by 14 lengths and looks a natural over the bigger obstacles.

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De Bromhead said: "He did it as well as you could have asked. He jumped well and David gave him a super ride.

"He was quick when he got in short and has loads of scope as well. They went a good lick. That was what I was hoping for and couldn't ask for any more.

"I will have to speak to Michael and Eddie (O'Leary) but he has a number of options.

"I would normally favour coming back here for the Craddockstown but there are also races at Cheltenham and Navan.

"He will stick to that trip for the moment but I don't see why he couldn't go up in trip in the future."

The winner is 10/1 with Sky Bet for the Arkle Challenge Trophy and 7/1 to win any race at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival.

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