Bright New Dawn: landed Grade 2 win after rival crashed out at the lastPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Bright New Dawn gifted Michael Purcell victory
Report: Thurles, Thursday
boylesports.com Michael Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m4f, 5yo+
BRIGHT NEW DAWN claimed victory for Dessie Hughes and Davy Russell, but, the race was overshadowed by a fatal fall suffered by Venture Capital who crashed out at the last flight having just got to the lead.
Entered for the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle and the Neptune at the Cheltenham Festival, Bright New Dawn was cut to 16-1 (from 20) for the latter by bet365, but Hughes said he is more likely to stay in Ireland for his next start.
Rory O'Moore had led the field from the outset, with Bright New Dawn moving into second with a cicruit to travel, with Touch The Eden third.
At the third last, the lead changed hands as Rory O'Moore folded, with Bright New Dawn sweeping to the front, pursued by Touch The Eden and Venture Capital.
Jumping two out Russell's mount still held the lead, but was working hard to hold off a swathe of challengers, and it was the JP McManus owned Venture Capital who got in front just before the last under Brian O'Connell.
However Venture Captial dived at the flight, giving O'Connell no chance, with the fall tragically claiming the six-year-old's life. This left Bright New Dawn to claim the spoils as the 6-4 favourite, with Mala Beach (8-1) second and Jennies Jewel (20-1) third.
Hughes said of the winner: "I am very pleased with that. The track was not ideal for him, he would prefer a more galloping track.
"He will go to Fairyhouse and/or Punchestown now."