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Minsk only second on hurdling bow

Minsk, who was the ante-post favourite for the Triumph Hurdle, could finish only second on his hurdling debut at Fairyhouse.

Dessie Hughes' four-year-old (4-6 favourite) jumped pretty fluently in the Grade Two Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle, but was outpaced on the run-in by Burrenbridge Lodge.

The former John Oxx inmate, who boasts some exemplary Flat form, was caught a little flat-footed when jockey Bryan Cooper went for a winning move, and was a neck down at the line. Bat Masterson finished a close-up third.

Minsk's owner, Barry Connell, said: "I'll still let him take his chance in the Triumph and that will be his only other run over hurdles."

Hughes added: "I thought we had him (Burrenbridge Lodge) covered at the last but he looked at it. If he had pinged the last I think he would have won. I'm happy and disappointed."

Kieran Purcell, trainer of Burrenbridge Lodge, said: "He will go for a break now. It's been a long season for him and he deserves it.

"We may bring him to Punchestown for the Grade One juvenile hurdle and he may have a sharpener on the Flat before that."

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