Zanahiyr could face Honeysuckle at Fairyhouse after Down Royal WKD Hurdle success | Racing News


Zanahiyr got back to winning ways in the Grade Two WKD Hurdle at Down Royal, setting up a potential blockbuster meeting with defending Champion Hurdler Honeysuckle.

Last season’s Triumph Hurdle favourite looked under pressure at the penultimate flight, with Noel Meade’s Cask Mate travelling strongly into contention before hitting the second-last hurdle and losing all momentum, leaving Zanahyir and Jack Kennedy to pull clear for a convincing eight-length success.

The four-year-old was cut from 25/1 to 16/1 with Sky Bet for the Champion Hurdle, however trainer Gordon Elliott nominated the Grade One Hatton’s Grace Hurdle – over an extra four furlongs – as his next target.

Jack Kennedy and Zanahiyr
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Jack Kennedy and Zanahiyr

“Jack said he was trying to wind it up the whole way, he actually wasn’t doing a stroke and had his ears pricked,” said Elliott.

“From the second-last to the line he galloped the whole way. We are very happy.

“He’s entered in the Hatton’s Grace (at Fairyhouse), but we’ll have to have a look and see what we think.

“I could see him stepping up in trip at some stage in the season.”

Impervious wins at Down Royal
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Impervious wins at Down Royal

The Hatton’s Grace has been won for the last two years by Honeysuckle, with Henry De Bromhead’s mare expected to attempt to win the race for the third time in November.

Impervious landed the Grade Three Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle earlier on the card for Colm Murphy and Brian Hayes, remaining unbeaten and lowering the colours of Gordon Elliott’s Party Central.

Lifetime Ambition wins at Down Royal
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Lifetime Ambition wins at Down Royal

The five-year-old put in an excellent round of jumping unlike Davy Russell’s mount, who eventually finished fourth after several novicey hurdling mistakes.

The tote Ten To Follow Beginners Chase was won by Jessica Harrington’s Lifetime Ambition, beating well-fancied rivals in Vanillier, a Cheltenham Festival winner earlier this year, and Galmoy Hurdle winner Beacon’s Edge.





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