Bryan Cooper and Our Conor win the Spring Juvenile HurdlePICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Our Conor on top in Spring Juvenile Hurdle
Report: Leopardstown, Saturday
Spring Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m, 4yo
OUR CONOR propelled himself to the upper echelons of the JCB Triumph Hurdle market after accounting for the Willie Mullins-trained favourite Diakali in comfortable fashion.
Ridden with supreme confidence throughout by Bryan Cooper, the 100-30 winner swung for home with plenty in the tank before stretching well clear of a quality field.
With this Grade 1 responsible for last season's Triumph Hurdle one-two (Countrywide Flame and Hisaabaat), bookmakers acted swiftly to cut Our Conor to a general 7-1 second favourite (from 16) for the festival, where trainer Dessie Hughes said he would next race.
"He's the real deal now," said Hughes. "He met a lot of the hurdles wrong today but was still quick at them. He's definitely stronger than when he won at Fairyhouse."
Our Conor missed a Grade 2 hurdle at this track over Christmas - which was won by Blood Cotil, the second Mullins runner unable to land a blow today - but on this showing he appears to be back to his best as he extended his unbeaten record to three.
Only Cheltenham trial winner Rolling Star is a shorter price in the Triumph betting.