Lord delivers in Listed heat
Lord Windermere came out best by a head in a duel with Dylan Ross to take the honours in the INH Stallion Owners EBF Novice Hurdle at Punchestown.
Tom Doyle was at his strongest on Jim Culloty's lightly-raced five-year-old (4-1) as the favourite, who looked to be going much the best approaching the final flight in the Listed contest, came to challenge on the run-in.
"He's green and that's why he was 25-1 when he won his maiden hurdle at Thurles. We've always thought he had loads of ability," said Culloty.
"He's improving with every run and he's a slow learner. He's a big chaser and he's got an engine. He's in the Grade One novice hurdle at Leopardstown at Christmas, but that might come a bit soon for him.
"I didn't want to go to a Grade One straight from his maiden, so that's why I came here as a stepping stone. We'll find a race for him in February and that will decide which route he goes. Whatever he does, he'll go novice chasing next October."
Noel Meade, trainer of Dylan Ross, had better luck when Please Talk justified strong market support to open his account over jumps in the 2012 Annual Membership Maiden Hurdle.
The well-backed 5-2 favourite, owned by JP McManus, pulled away from the opposition in some style in the straight to put the race to bed easily. The five-year-old was eased down close home by Paul Carberry as he defeated Not For Converting by four and three-quarter lengths.
"He's a lovely horse, a gorgeous horse. From the first minute I saw him down in John Halley's I loved him," said Meade.
"Thank goodness I ended up with him! Whatever he does over hurdles is a bonus as chasing is his game. He has a really good pedigree, he loves soft ground and he stays well.
"He'll go for a novice hurdle in about a month's time. I was very disappointed he got beaten in his bumper the first day at Fairyhouse. He ran a bit flat. Maybe the ground was a bit quick for him."