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Rathlin romps to Fairyhouse victory

Rathlin looked a promising staying chaser for the Gigginstown House Stud operation after following up a course and distance success last month with a comprehensive victory at Fairyhouse.

The hurdles track passed an inspection in mid-morning, but there was a further delay before the two steeplechases at the end of the card were finally given the go-ahead.

Davy Russell set out to dominate on Rathlin in the Follow Us On Facebook Novice Chase and was always travelling nicely, with Banjaxed Girl the only one still in contention in the straight. Mouse Morris's 4-9 favourite tired a little, but he was never threatened and scored by two and three-quarter lengths.

The trainer said: "He was hanging a bit, but that was probably because of the ground. He jumped well and he was giving 13lb to the second, so that wasn't bad. He'll get three miles."

Willie Mullins introduced The Bosses Cousin to obstacles and he looked a decent sort in winning the Corporate Hospitality At Fairyhouse Maiden Hurdle under Patrick Mullins, who made all.

The 5-4 favourite wasn't fluent in the early stages, but warmed to his task and cleared away after the last to beat Shannon Spirit by two and a quarter lengths.

The champion trainer said: "He did it the hard way on his first run (over hurdles) out in front. He's not bred to go on that ground and he'll improve for drier ground.

"We'll keep him novice hurdling. He's a brilliant horse to school at home, so Patrick didn't mind going on as he's a natural jumper. He just made a novicey mistake at the second and they were lucky to stay together."

Oliver McKiernan's Changing Times (7-1), a course and distance scorer last month, shrugged off top weight to run out an emphatic winner of the Tote Sports Lounge Novice Handicap Hurdle by 13 lengths in the hands of Shane Crimin.

The trainer said: "I had him over in England at the sales and they wouldn't buy him. I knew he was an improving horse, but I couldn't believe the way he won today. He looks a ready-made chaser and I know it's a cliche, but whatever he does over hurdles will be a bonus as chasing is his game."

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