Castle beats 200/1 odds
Sizing John and Aidan O'Brien have been the two main record-breakers in horse racing this year but history was made at Thurles yesterday by Killahara Castle, who returned the first ever 200/1 winner in Ireland.
The lowly-rated filly was the rank outsider of yesterday's feature race at Thurles but the six-year-old broke her maiden in the Boreen Belle Mares Novice Hurdle by beating the odds-on favourite True Self by a snug five lengths.
Trained by John Burke, ridden to victory by Martin Burke and owned by Elaine Burke, the family success was a first win for Killahara Castle in 21 racecourse appearances.
Meanwhile, at Navan yesterday, Next Destination was the star of the show as he won the Grade Two Navan Novice Hurdle for Willie and David Mullins.
The impressive Naas maiden winner stepped forward nicely to beat a decent field and do so in good style, with the well thought of Cracking Smart well beaten back in second.
Samcro was a notable absentee from the Navan race, having not been declared to run by Gordon Elliott, but that pair could well meet in what would be a mouth-watering renewal of the Lawlors of Naas Novice Hurdle on in early January.
Next Destination was giving the champion trainer a cross-the-card double, with Koshari returning to action with a straightforward victory in the beginners' chase at Thurles in the hands of Danny Mullins.
Mullins' championship nemesis Gordon Elliott did go on to record a treble at Navan, with Rapid Escape looking the most exciting as he ran out a comfortable winner of the concluding listed bumper.
Sizing Titanium (5-1 co-favourite) was given a patient ride by Robbie Power to win the Handicap Chase.
Power had the Jim Dreaper-trained nine-year-old towards the rear of the field until producing him to make his challenge on the far side in the straight.
"He's a credit to the veterinary profession. He's had pedal bone trouble which in our outfit is imprinted on the memory after Arkle's difficulties," said Dreaper, whose late father Tom trained the legendary chaser.