Ned back on song
Noel Meade's Ned Buntline got back on the winning trail with a stylish display in the Bookmakers Bar At Bewleys Hotel Leopardstown Maiden Hurdle.
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A hugely impressive winner of a Naas bumper in early November, the four-year-old suffered a surprise defeat on his hurdling bow at Fairyhouse earlier this month.
However, sent off the 4-5 favourite to gain compensation in the opening race of Leopardstown's four-day Christmas meeting, Ned Buntline was always travelling powerfully under Paul Carberry and moved smoothly into contention in the straight.
Jumping the final flight, main market rival Urano looked a big danger, but Ned Buntline saw him off pretty readily in the end to secure a two-length verdict.
Meade said: "That is a bit of a weight off my back. The second horse is a good horse and it took a good horse to beat him the last day (Meade's Ally Cascade).
"Paul said the ground was a shade soft for him. We think he is a good horse and hopefully he is. He will improve a good bit when he learns to settle and jumps more relaxed. He is still diving a bit at hurdles.
"He will go for a novice hurdle somewhere now and it's nice to get a win on the board."
Cheltenham bumper winner Anonis made a pleasing start to his career over obstacles in the Q8 OILS Maiden Hurdle.
The Margaret Mullins-trained six-year-old flew up the famous Cheltenham hill to spring a surprise in a Listed event last month and was an 11-4 chance for what looked a warm race on his hurdling bow.
Partnered by the trainer's son Danny Mullins, Anonis moved up to challenge the strong-travelling The Papparazi Kid before the final flight.
The two of them settled down to fight it out and Anonis won the argument by a length and three-quarters.
The winning trainer said: "I am delighted. He was green as I thought he would be.
"He had a problem last Christmas but he came through it well and we didn't get that schooling into him. We were just trying to get him back on the track. He schooled well since Cheltenham.
"He is a nice horse. He is good and tough. He will have another couple of runs over hurdles before we decide where he will go.
"I'm delighted for Barry (Connell, owner) as he said to run him today even if he wouldn't win.
"He is a good horse and is a three-miler so that run will have sharpened him up today. That was only his third run. He came from Germany and wasn't broken until he was four."
The Colm Murphy-trained Shariyan justified 4-1 favouritism for the Download The Free Racing Post Mobile App. Handicap Hurdle under Robbie Power.
Murphy said: "I'm absolutely delighted as he's been so frustrating.
"I would have been disappointed if he hadn't have won but it was a competitive handicap so you can't be too confident."
Katie Walsh guided 7-1 shot Jacksonslady to victory in the Racing Post All You Need For Irish Racing Handicap Chase, while the concluding bumper went to 10-1 chance Moyle Park.