Moscow blossoms in Poplar
Moscow Mannon secured the first Graded success of his emerging career over fences with a comfortable victory in the Poplar Square Chase on a big day for Henry de Bromhead at Naas.
The eight-year-old (4-7 favourite) breezed clear of long-time leader Ludo Et Emergo approaching the final fence and surged up the run-in to score by four and three-quarter lengths .
The Davy Russell-ridden winner raced in second for most of the way, but he was never threatened by main rival Felix Yonger, who to his credit stuck to his guns to take the runner-up spot and was giving away 9lb.
De Bromhead, who also won the opener with Sizing John and went on to a treble with Sizing Granite, said: "He jumped well, apart from a couple of little mistakes. This was about getting him rolling.
"It's lovely to get that out of the way. We could look at Leopardstown at Christmas over two miles and a furlong or there is the Hilly Way (Cork) or England. The owner is keen to step him up and I'd say we will, in time.
"No horse at home is fast enough to work with him, he has so many gears. He has a bit of a freaky pedigree as he's out of a Mind Games mare. He has a lot of pace. At Punchestown, though, it looked like all he did was stay."
Sizing Granite (6-1) struck in the Weatherbys Ireland GSB Beginners Chase, cashing in on a far-from-perfect round of jumping from 1-2 favourite Lieutenant Colonel, who made errors at the fourth- and third-last but still rallied gamely close home.
Lieutenant Colonel and Sizing Granite jumped the last fence in unison, but Johnny Burke's companion showed plenty of heart when it mattered to win by a length.
Fellow debutant Minella Foru was a satisfying third on his first start since finishing sixth in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
De Bromhead, who was claiming his first treble, said: "You dream of days like this. All the horses seemed in good form and we were waiting on the ground to change."
Of Sizing Granite, the County Waterford handler added: "He was always very backwards and green. Hurdling was just to get to chasing. He's still big baby and is an exciting horse."
Aidan O'Brien's Plinth led all the way under Mark Walsh and ran on strongly to hold off favourite Macnicholson by a length and a quarter in the four-runner Hospitality At Naas Racecourse Hurdle.
Frank Berry, racing manager for owner JP McManus, said of the 11-4 scorer: "He jumped away well, did his own thing, and quickened up well over the last few."
Walsh doubled up when the McManus-owned Give Me A Break (7-2 favourite) plundered the Brown Lad Handicap Hurdle.
Michael Hourigan's always-prominent five-year-old put daylight between herself and the field with a crisp leap at the final flight and t hough Solita gave chase, she was convincingly defeated by two and a quarter lengths, with Followmeuptocarlow third.
Hourigan said: "She's just a dream to train. She hadn't run since August and I was a bit worried."