Seabass: stayed on strongly to grab second at FairyhousePICTURE: Getty Images
Rock Critic cut for Supreme with easy win
Report: Fairyhouse, Monday
Racegoer's €25 Package Hurdle 2m, inner course
ROCK CRITIC remains unbeaten after two runs over hurdles in readily landing the opening conditions hurdle at Fairyhouse but the performance of last year's John Smith's Grand National third Seabass set as many tongues wagging after the race.
Owned by the Moyglare Stud, the winner was a most authoritative one under Robbie McNamara, taking it up from flagging Make Your Mark before the second last and despite a slightly sloppy jump at the last won handily by just over three lengths. The mistake at the last was the only one he made in the race and the victory did not surprise Dermot Weld.
"He did what I thought he would do," he said, adding: "He would have preferred better ground but I would say that applies to all horses in the race.
"I'll discuss plans with his owner Eva-Marie Haefner. He's entered at Cheltenham but at the moment I feel he might be more of a Fairyhouse or Punchestown horse. He jumped like a stag, exceptionally well. The plan wasn't to get there as soon as he did but his jumping took him there."
Boylesports cut Rock Critic to 16-1 (from 20) for the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle.
The same firm left Seabass alone at 20-1 for the John Smith's Grand National although he was promoted to the new 14-1 favourite for the race on Betfair's fixed odds betting.
Jockey Ruby Walsh said: "I thought coming away from the third last I was going to struggle big time but all of a sudden he got a second wind and kept at it all the way to the line.
"You would have to be happy with him. He's probably a more mature horse this year. I know he's ten but he has very little racing done."