Dedigout so sweet in Strawberry
Dedigout completed a hat-trick for Tony Martin and Gigginstown House Stud with a smart display in the Keelings Irish Strawberry Hurdle at Fairyhouse.
The nine-year-old was the 2-1 favourite to add to his victories in the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran and the Boyne Hurdle at Navan and was given a typically patient ride by Paul Carberry.
Willie Mullins' admirable grey Thousand Stars raced with his usual enthusiasm towards the front end, bidding to win this Grade Two prize for a second successive year on his first start since last June, and was still bowling along in front once straightened up for home.
However, the lack of a recent run began to tell between the final two flights, at which stage Dedigout powered his way to the front and pulled clear to secure a three-length verdict.
Thousand Stars plugged on to fill the runner-up spot ahead of strong-travelling stable companion Analifet in third.
Martin said: "It hasn't been easy with him.
"He looked a very promising horse when he won his novice at Punchestown but it just didn't work out for him over fences.
"Last year he looked like a real World Hurdle horse but then chipped his knee in December.
"He's had a great year and we'll lock him up now for next year and take it from there."
On the jockey's cool ride, Martin said: "That's Carberry. He sits up and lets them do the work.
"Luckily when he gave him a squeeze the answer was there."