Young guns still excite O’Brien

Joseph O'Brien retains full faith that his classy bunch of juvenile hurdlers can still reach the top.

Landofhopeandglory (right) was beaten over Christmas

Landofhopeandglory lost his unbeaten record when he had the tables turned on him by Bapaume in the Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown having finished in front of the same rival at Fairyhouse.

Housesofparliament, the best of his recruits from the Flat having finished a close third in the St Leger at Doncaster, could manage only a five-length second to Meri Devie on his hurdling debut at Leopardstown, while Sword Fighter, a Royal Ascot winner, was fifth in the same race.

"Landofhopeandglory ran well. The race probably didn't work out as well as it did the last day," said O'Brien.

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"There is no reason why he shouldn't get closer to the winner the next day.

"Housesofparliament ran well on his first run over hurdles. He jumped quite well apart from missing the third-last.

"Sword Fighter ran well too on his first run over hurdles. It's a long year."

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Stablemate Ivanovich Gorbatov produced a seasonal best in the Ryanair Hurdle when pushing Nichols Canyon all the way for second, albeit some way behind impressive winner Petit Mouchoir.

"He ran a blinder and I was delighted with him. He travelled and jumped brilliant," said O'Brien.

"It looked like he might be second and he flattened out. I'd say he's running close enough to his mark.

"I'd imagine we'll look for another good two-mile race for him somewhere and see what happens."

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