Ferny Hollow (Westerner) Wins The Maiden Hurdle At Gowran Park

Champion Bumper Victor Scores On Hurdle Debut

Cheltenham Champion Bumper winner Ferny Hollow (5g Westerner - Mirazur, by Good Thyne) made a successful start to his hurdle career when justifying favouritism at Gowran Park on Friday.

Having his first start since the aforementioned Grade 1 victory, Willie Mullins’ charge was one of 15 to line up for the two mile maiden hurdle. Chasing the leader under Paul Townend, he was asked to quicken from the third last and joined his rival at the next, asserting at the final flight. Maintaining his advantage on the run-in, he held off the longtime leader by a length, as the pair drew 45 lengths clear of the field.

Speaking after the race, Mullins said, “A nice performance. Two good horses came up the straight there and hopefully we'll hear more about both of them. I was very pleased with my fella and I'd imagine we'll look at Christmas at Leopardstown.”

Ferny Hollow was bought by Willie Mullins and Harold Kirk for £300,000 after winning his point-to-point impressively for Colin Bowe. Now owned by Cheveley Park Stud, the son of Westerner was bred by Kenneth Parkhill.

Earlier in the week, another son of Westerner in Washington (4g Westerner - Present Leader, by Presenting) emerged as a smart prospect when racing 19 lengths clear in a Fakenham bumper.

The Olly Murphy-trained newcomer travelled strongly throughout behind the leaders and asserted with ease approaching the two furlong marker. Clear of his rivals from the home turn, he was eased close home as his rivals fought out the placings.

Owned by Tim Syder and bred by Jeremy McTaggart, Washington becomes the first winner out of Present Leader, herself a half-sister to Grade 2 hurdler Kalahari Queen.