The hugely talented but fragile Malone Road is faring well after extending his unbeaten career record on hurdles debut at Kilbeggan.
Gordon Elliott’s six-year-old came home nine and a half lengths clear of his nearest rival in division two of the Hurley Family Maiden Hurdle on Friday.
That victory followed a 642-day absence from the track, and was Malone Road’s first run after recovering from the recurrence of a knee injury.
The point-to-point winner was a £325,000 acquisition by Cheveley Park Stud in April 2018, and went on to be very impressive in his two autumn bumper victories for Elliott.
He was subsequently priced up as ante-post favourite for the 2019 Cheltenham Festival Champion Bumper, before injury struck.
Chris Richardson, managing director of Cheveley Park Stud, confirmed Malone Road’s well-being after his Kilbeggan comeback.
He said: “I spoke to Gordon the following day, and he came out of the race fine thankfully.
“Obviously soft ground is important to him – and having been off for a long time, he was quite ring rusty.
“Hopefully we can creep along – where we go next I couldn’t say, but it’s nice to see him back.
“That’s the most important thing, that he’s back and sound after the race.”