Alder strikes Grade Two success
Tony McCoy notched up his fourth win of the Fairyhouse Easter Festival when County Hurdle winner Alderwood made every yard of the running in the Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Novice Hurdle.
Tom Mullins' 7-2 chance was allowed his own way out in front and McCoy kicked six lengths clear turning into the straight. Steps To Freedom tried to close up with Allure Of Illusion and while the latter looked a danger at the last, Alderwood found more for pressure and won by three and a quarter lengths.
Jessica Harrington's Steps To Freedom eventually flattened out, allowing Jacksonslady to come home third.
"Any winner of a County Hurdle has to be respected back in novice company and, in fairness to Tom and his team, they had him looking particularly well for today," said McCoy.
Mullins added: "They can bounce after Cheltenham but half an hour after his run there it was like he didn't have a race. I was confident enough therefore that he wasn't feeling the effects of it. Tony was very worried about the pace early on so he elected to go on. I was delighted to see the rain coming today too.
"That was a similar run to Cheltenham but he was really at his best over there. Punchestown is on the agenda but he gave a good hard blow after that so we'll just have to wait and see. I like the way he pulled away at the end."