McCoy magic as game Alderwood gets up late
Report: Punchestown, Tuesday
Evening Herald Champion Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m, 5yo+
ALDERWOOD recorded his third straight success in just over a month when he rallied bravely to edge out short-priced favourite Trifolium under an inspired Tony McCoy.
His chances of landing a first Grade 1 victory appeared slim as Trifolium set sail for home approaching the last but Alderwood dug deep under a power-packed McCoy to score by a half a length at odds of 5-2.
Trifolium was sent off 4-7 favourite after finishing third to Cinders And Ashes in the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle last time out and travelled well under Davy Russell.
County Hurdle winner Alderwood, who won a Grade 2 novice hurdle at Fairyhouse earlier this month, disputed the lead with Laganbank for the majority of the contest as Midnight Game and Simenon observed from the rear.
As the field approached the straight, there looked only one winner as Trifolium effortlessly took up the running with the Tom Mullins-trained Alderwood vigorously ridden under an animated McCoy.
However as Trifolium cleared the last, Alderwood renewed his effort and found plenty for pressure before he edged past the leader as the winning line approached.
Winning owner JP McManus said: "It looked like he had it all to do but he battled on well.
"Tom [Mullins] had him looking marvellous today but I thought I was in trouble coming out of the back straight. But I thought we had a chance over the last."
Mullins added: "This is a really tough horse. Fair dues to him for battling back the way he did. I'm delighted to go on and win a Grade 1 with him after Cheltenham and Fairyhouse."
Simenon claimed third ahead of stablemate Midnight Game.