Delight for Keri Brion as US trainer records first winner in Ireland
If ever someone deserved a winner it was US trainer Keri Brion.
With a flight home to the United States awaiting her this Saturday following a winter of near misses and unfortunate abandonments, she recorded her first Irish success with bumper newcomer Scorpion's Revenge at 25-1.
"Finally!" said the talented trainer, who recently took over legendary champion trainer Jonathan Sheppard's string and even saw one of her horses disqualified from a Listed Punchestown second over an admin error.
"I sourced this horse in November to come back to America and we gave him the winter off because we knew he wanted decent ground."
Scorpion's Revenge also provided 20-year-old Dan Nevin with his first winner under rules, and Brion added: "I was starting to doubt if the winner would come and we've had some bad racing luck but this is fantastic. I think we'll come back again, the owners have really enjoyed it."
Waitnsee rewards Ryan's faith
Trainer John Ryan has never made any secret of the regard in which he holds Waitnsee and the progressive mare posted a career-best when landing the Grade 3 baroneracing.com Chase, rewarding good market support.
A morning price of 11-1 evaporated and she was sent off at 7-2, staying on well past Spyglass Hill and Go Another One to score under Kevin Brouder for owners Mark Fleming and Geoff Bruce.
"I always thought she was a proper mare," said Ryan. "We'll see what the handicapper does and she'll go to Punchestown."
Surprise 100-1 winner
The most popular success of the day was undoubtedly the surprise return to form for 13-year-old cross-country stalwart Josies Orders, who rolled back the years under Phidelma Elvin to land the 3m½f handicap hurdle at 100-1.
Trainer Enda Bolger, who recently assumed ownership of the admirable veteran from JP McManus, quipped: "I told Phidelma I'd give her a fiver for every horse that she passes – now I'm out of pocket!"
He added: "Mr McManus gave him to us for the kids to have a bit of fun on and we said we'd give him a tune-up before running at Punchestown."
Murphy back in business
Colm Murphy saddled his first winner at Cork back in 2002, as well as his first runner since returning to the training ranks in July 2019, and the Mallow venue became an even more favourable track for the Wexford trainer after Botani provided him with a first winner since his comeback in the Grade B 2m3f handicap hurdle
The 20-time Grade 1 winner stepped away from training in October 2016, a couple of months after his last winner at Ballinrobe, but has since prepared Relegate to finish fifth at the Cheltenham Festival.
Botani was ridden by Bryan Hayes, who had initiated a double on The West Awaits for Willie Mullins and John Magnier.
Pretender defies absence
Norman Lee's stable star Sole Pretender defied a 598-day absence to cause a minor upset at 14-1 under Simon Torrens in the 2m hurdle.