Exciting Sutton Place storms to success under Geraghty
Odds-on favourite Sutton Place gave his backers a few anxious moments but ultimately ran out an authoritative winner of the Grade 2 Ladbrokes Ireland Boyne Hurdle, beating his Gordon Elliott-trained stablemate De Plotting Shed by three and three-quarter lengths.
The 4-6 favourite was niggled along by Barry Geraghty early in the straight but warmed to his task and appeared to win with plenty in hand on his first start beyond two miles.
Now a winner on his last four starts over hurdles, Sutton Place has been talked about as a potential Champion Hurdle contender but Geraghty was cool on such a bid.
He said: "It's hard to say he's ready [for the Champion Hurdle]. There's a big difference in the pace they go here compared to the Champion. It would be a big ask.
Frank Berry, racing manager for owner JP McManus, confirmed Sutton Place would not be supplemented to the Champion Hurdle. He said: "He won't be going to Cheltenham. He's too high in the handicap and we won't be supplementing him for anything."
"He's a big, immature, lovely horse who will want a fence."
There was an anticlimactic finish to the three-runner Flyingbolt Novice Chase as odds-on favourite Ballyoisin crashed out at the third-last to leave Ball D'Arc to coast home unchallenged from outsider Tully East.
Grade 1-winning hurdler Identity Thief was ruled out on the morning of the race after pulling off a shoe, but a match between a pair of last-time winners in Ballyoisin and Ball D'Arc still left punters with an intriguing puzzle.
Both Ballyoisin - who took the who field along - and Ball D'Arc were still going well on the approach to the third-last but Ballyoisin got too close to the fence and fell, leaving Ball D'Arc clear.
The Gordon Elliott-trained Ball D'Arc negotiated the final two fences with ease to score by 19 lengths under Bryan Cooper.
The competitive-looking Ten Up Novice Chase was turned into a procession as Acapella Bourgeois ran out a wide-margin winner under an enterprising ride from Roger Loughran, who established a clear advantage and never looked like relinquishing it.
Sent off as the 7-2 second favourite, Acapella Bourgeois was sent straight into the lead and was in complete isolation on the turn for home, with the only dangers being the three fences in front rather than the remainder of the field a distance behind.
Road To Respect did best of the remainder but still finished fully 32 lengths behind the runaway winner. Haymount was another 11 lengths back in third.
The winner was slashed to a top-price of 20-1 (from 40-1) for the RSA Chase.