The Charles Byrnes-trained Knockfierna (5m Flemensfirth-Garden Town, by Un Desperado) made a successful trip across the Irish Sea on Monday when winning the Listed OLBG Mares Hurdle at Kempton.
The Flemensfirth mare, who was bred by Karina Healy, already boasted a Grade 2 and four Grade 3 successes and she battled well to beat Miss Milborne to land the extended three-mile contest under Davy Russell, who had travelled over from Ireland for the mount.
“The conditions of the race appealed because she’s a fair hurdler back in Ireland, but she wasn’t penalised for this,” Byrnes told sportinglife.com. “Apart from Quevega, she’d be as good as any other mare and if there was a chance she could get in the first half dozen at Cheltenham (in the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle), you’d have to consider it. The clerk of the course says there is a race back here on December 27 and we’ll have a look at that. I wouldn’t rule out another run over fences, maybe in the spring.”
Flemensfirth had another potentially hugely-exciting winner last week in the Paul Nolan-trained Defy Logic (5g Flemensfirth-Osiery Girl, by Phardante) who justified a big home reputation to win a Fairyhouse bumper by 35 lengths.
“We’ve done plenty of talking about him and its nice to be proved right,” said Nolan’s brother James. “He has a lot of galloping to do before he proves himself to be the horse we believe in. His jumping makes him extra special to look forward to. I´d imagine we´ll go to Leopardstown for a maiden hurdle.”