Toe over the winning line
News of the action from Leopardstown where Toe The Line showed a neat turn of foot to open her account over jumps.
Toe The Line opened her account over hurdles
Toe The Line showed a neat turn of foot to open her account over jumps in the 'Download The Coral App' Mares Maiden Hurdle at Leopardstown.
Denis O'Regan switched his mount off the far rail to challenge at the final flight, after which she shot away from the opposition to score decisively.
A dual Listed-race winner on the Flat, John Kiely's 5/1 chance pulled clear on the run-in to score by three lengths from Willie Mullins-trained favourite Bargy Lady. Miss Eyecatcher stuck on for third, just half a length away.
"We were looking forward to her winning a maiden hurdle sooner, but obviously the ground made a difference. We were hoping that she would travel on this ground," said Kiely.
"She didn't go on the ground at Fairyhouse. She didn't travel at all on it and just got stuck. This ground makes a difference as she can use her turn of foot.
"I told him to get her settled, but I thought they'd stay bunched. She was lucky to be able to come from off the pace and make no mistakes. If she had made a mistake she was in trouble.
"She might not have the experience for jumping in a handicap, so I was hoping she'd win a maiden hurdle and she's done that now. Hopefully, she doesn't go up too much.
"I think she'll go for a handicap now."
Justmemyselfandi (4/1) came with a rattling run to claim victory under Brian O'Connell the Coral.ie 'Best Price Guaranteed On Irish Racing' Maiden Hurdle.
Runner-up on his hurdling debut seven weeks ago, Liz Doyle's six-year-old went one better in good style.
Capital Force, the 8-13 favourite, was always prominent and Ruby Walsh set sail for home from two out but was overpowered on the dash to the line and had to settle for third spot, beaten a total of two lengths.
Justmemyselfandi and Harold Peto fought out the finish, with the former getting the verdict by a length and a quarter.
Doyle said: "I'm very pleased, I've always loved him but he struggled a little bit on the deep, deep stuff. Brian said he was jumping every hurdle like a fence, so hopefully he'll get a little bit lower and quicker.
"He's no superstar, but he's progressive and on an upward curve. He's a lovely, sound clean horse. I fell in love with him when I saw him galloping around Monksgrange and we ended up buying him.
"We'll look at a rated novice hurdle or maybe a handicap with him. We'll probably dip our toe into some kind of novice race, but I might not aim too high over hurdles this year and get some experience and mileage into him.
"He has a lovely pedigree and his dam is a half-sister to a good horse that Ted Walsh had, Southern Vic."
O'Connell said: "I could see Ruby niggling going to the last, so I thought I had a bit of a chance.
"He'll have no problem stepping up in trip, especially on that ground. It's surprisingly good for this time of year and he handled it well."
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