Vinnie denies Parish prize
Our Vinnie edged out hot favourite Pride Ofthe Parish in a pulsating finish to the Liberty Insurance Novice Hurdle at Limerick.
The latter was an 8-15 market leader following a bloodless victory at Fairyhouse earlier this month and he tracked 2-1 shot Our Vinnie into the home straight, with the pair miles clear of the remainder.
Favourite backers looked sure to collect when a minor mistake from Our Vinnie at the final obstacle handed Pride Ofthe Parish the advantage, but the Charles Byrnes-trained winner rallied gamely in the hands of Niall Madden and there was little to choose between the pair passing the post.
The photo revealed Our Vinnie had got back up to take the Grade Three prize by a short-head and Stan James cut him to 14-1 from 20-1 for the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Madden said: "Our Vinnie is very genuine and tough. He pecked at the back of the last but picked up well on the run-in."
Byrnes went on to complete a double as Dazzlers Day (20-1) claimed the Ryans Cleaning Handicap Hurdle.
Despite being so narrowly denied on Pride Ofthe Parish in the feature event, jockey Paul Townend enjoyed a good day at the office with a couple of winners.
Willie Mullins-trained 1-2 favourite Dogora kicked off the brace when making a most impressive Irish debut in the Welcome To Ladies Day 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle, earning a 33-1 quote with Stan James for the Triumph Hurdle.
Townend said: "He was very professional and he jumped very well. He couldn't have done it any nicer."
The jockey followed up in the following Project Architects & Aeon Consultants Maiden Hurdle aboard 3-1 shot Castlerock Rose, a first winner for Country Cork-based trainer Dan Rohan.