Dalasiri lands Cork gamble
An almighty touch was landed at Cork when Sabrina Harty's grey Dalasiri took the McCarthy Insurance Group Maiden Hurdle after being backed from a morning price of 33-1 into just 9-2 on-course.
Sent to the front four from home by Andrew Lynch, the Aga Khan-bred showed a lot more than on his previous start at Christmas and stormed clear to win from Spot The Pro by 11 lengths.
"We felt at home that he had a good turn of foot and we dropped him in at Leopardstown. He was just staying on when he made two mistakes. But his jumping is as slick as you get. I ride him myself and schooled him as well," said Harty.
"We got him from John Oxx's as a two-year-old in the Horses In Training Sale. We were going to go the bumper route but he schooled like a handicapper recently and we knew he'd come on a ton for the run at Leopardstown.
"He's beautifully made with a great head and no hang ups, and we've always thought a lot of him. Today was the plan, but he should make a nice dual purpose horse. If he's sold I'd like to train him."
Willie Mullins landed a treble and was on the mark in the McCarthy Insurance Group Maiden Hurdle with Midnight Oil (evens favourite). He had been outclassed in his previous two races but coasted home under Davy Russell.
The trainer said: "We decided to ride him more positively today and he enjoyed it better. He should improve more when the ground is drier. If he does improve on better ground, which I think he will, he'll step back up to Graded company. He's a grand, big, jumping type of horse and the ground is key to him."
Mullins completed his treble when Terminal (1-2 favourite) eventually wore down A Fine Young Man in the McCarthy Insurance Group Beginners' Chase.
Golantilla (7-4 favourite) entered the picture for the Cheltenham Bumper after an impressive win for Sean O'Brien, who bred, owns and trains the five-year-old. Stan James gave him a 16-1 quote for March.
It was a quick double for the yard, who struck in the McCarthy Insurance Group Handicap Chase when bottom-weight Wilde Wit Pleasure (8-1), blinkered for the first time, got away from the last quicker than Jack Bene and won by two lengths under Davy Condon.