Red Jack off to winning start over jumps

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Noel Meade's Red Jack got off to a classy start over jumps

Dual bumper winner Red Jack made a successful start to his jumping career in the Irish Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle at Naas.

Noel Meade’s youngster had the high-class pair of Debuchet and Le Richebourg behind when making a winning debut at the County Kildare venue in January and having followed up in the valuable sales bumper at Fairyhouse on Easter Sunday, he was a prohibitively priced 1-3 favourite for his seasonal reappearance and hurdling debut.

The JP McManus-owned four-year-old jumped well in the main in the hands of Mark Walsh and responded to his rider’s urgings in the straight to score by a fairly comfortable three and a half lengths from Stooshie.

Ball D’Arc gave weight and a beating to some talented rivals in the Grade Three Poplar Square Chase.

Despite having to concede 9lb all round, Gordon Elliott’s charge was the 6-4 favourite for this two-mile contest, with Jack Kennedy doing the steering.

American Tom jumped accurately at the head of affairs for much of the way, but having been off the track since falling here in January, he began to falter between the final two fences.

Turning out just seven days after finishing third at Down Royal, the Gigginstown House Stud-owned Ball D’Arc came home strongly to see off the ultra-consistent Ordinary World by five lengths, with American Tom third.

Early Doors claimed his second victory in the space of a fortnight with a smart display in the Fishery Lane Hurdle.

Joseph O’Brien’s four-year-old made a big impression on his bumper debut at Punchestown before finishing third in the Goffs Land Rover Bumper in April.

He justified odds-on favouritism on his hurdling debut at Wexford in late October and was a 3-1 shot stepped up to Grade Three level.

Early Doors travelled well into the home straight and while 5-4 favourite Meri Devie would have made more of a race for it but for encountering traffic problems, O’Brien’s charge passed the post two lengths to the good, providing owner JP McManus and jockey Mark Walsh with their second winner on the card.

High-class bumper performer Next Destination was a deeply impressive winner of the Hospitality At Naas Maiden Hurdle.

The Willie Mullins-trained five-year-old was fourth behind the ill-fated Fayonagh in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham in March and was a 4-1 shot for his hurdling debut under Paul Townend.

Carrying the colours of Malcolm Denmark, Next Destination travelled strongly and showed a fine turn of foot after the final flight to put his rivals to bed by upwards of 13 lengths.

Someday was second ahead of 7-4 favourite Paloma Blue in third.

The giant Pallasator, who won a charity race on his recent debut for Gordon Elliott, was ultimately well-beaten in fifth place on his jumping introduction.

Townend said: “He was very good. I was very taken by that (performance), in that ground on his first run of the season.

“He jumped great and I couldn’t believe how well he picked up from the back of the last in that ground.

“There were a lot of reputations going into it and he hasn’t done himself any harm.

“I’d imagine he could go further, but the pace he showed there, I’d say there’s a lot of options for him.”

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