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Easy for classy Trifolium

Trifolium stamped his authority on the Racing UK Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at Punchestown with an impressive display in the Gigginstown House Stud colours.

Charles Byrnes' five-year-old settled well for Davy Russell behind the front-running Rory O'Moore, but a big leap at the last flight in the back straight sent him clear in the Grade Two contest.

The 7-4 favourite, who found only the high-class So Young too good last time, drew nine lengths ahead of former accomplished Flat performer Simenon without being pressed.

Byrnes said: "I'm very happy with that. He's prefer better ground, like most horses. He'll probably go for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham after that. When he does learn to settle he could be very good - behind So Young he was very free, but he settled much better there and had more energy left at the line."

Stan James were very impressed and cut his odds for the Supreme to 14-1 from 40s.

Portrait King opened his account under rules in the Dobbins & Madigans National Trial Handicap Chase. Maurice Phelan's seven-year-old jumped for fun in the hands of Davy Condon, but the win did not come without controversy.

Condon made a move rounding the final bend and as a handful of runners bunched up, Davy Russell was unseated from Start Me Up. He was later reported to be unscathed.

Portrait King (7-1) powered away from Up The Beat and In Great Form, with morning gamble Smoking Aces well beaten.

Phelan said: "He'll head across the water for a staying chase, probably the Eider Chase at Newcastle at the end of the month. He loved the testing conditions and it's a tougher track than Fairyhouse, which suited him."


From Belfast Telegraph