Kuiper Belt gained some compensation for the loss of a Grade B event in the Listowel stewards’ room as he took the honours in the Thorney Bridge Novice Handicap Hurdle at Clonmel on Thursday.
A subsequent appeal by owner Melissa Margolis failed, and the decision of the raceday stewards at the Harvest Festival to award the Liam Healy Memorial Lartigue Handicap Hurdle to Gold Seal was upheld.
With Davy Russell up here, 11-8 shot Kuiper Belt’s superiority was probably greater than the length he had in hand over Our Rachael would imply.
Gordon Elliott trains Kuiper Belt, and Russell was full of praise for the Cullentra House Stables operator, saying: “Gordon has done a marvellous job with him.”
The champion jockey added: “It’s great he atoned for the last day and there might be another handicap in him. He travelled really well, but only barely got to the line.”
Willie Mullins doubled his score with Shush taking the Kilsheelan (Mares) Maiden Hurdle and newcomer Northern Belle landing the Clonmel INH Flat Race.
On a pretty good day for punters at Powerstown Park, these two went in at odds-on, Shush (1-3) overcoming the fact that she whipped around and lost ground at the start under Paul Townend.
The daughter of Flemensfirth jumped well after to upstage Kilbarry Calling by four lengths.
Patrick Mullins meanwhile oozed confidence on Northern Belle (9-10), and his faith in the well-related five-year-old was spot on as she saw off Fostered Phil by two and three-quarter lengths.
“The owners have been very patient with her – they bought her two years ago and she has a lovely pedigree. She is related to Be My Belle (Thyestes Chase winner) and is out of a King’s Theatre mare,” reported the winning rider.
“She loves that good ground and is a mare I think will improve. We haven’t been able to train her very hard at home and if you saw her in the ring you’d say she was ready for her first bit of work.
“We had to take our chance, but she has plenty of ability.”