Espoir D'Allen impresses at Limerick where Annamix is beaten

Espoir D'Allen on his way to an impressive win
Espoir D'Allen on his way to an impressive win

Espoir D'Allen made it two from two so far this season with an impressive victory in the Irish Independent Hurdle at Limerick.

Trained by Gavin Cromwell and ridden by Jody McGarvey, Espoir D'Allen won a Naas Grade Three on his return last month and followed up in some style with an easy verdict again.

Sent off a 7/2 shot, his task was considerably eased when last season's Triumph Hurdle hero Farclas took an early fall and Espoir D'Allen was well in control jumping the last.

He easily accounted for odds-on favourite Stormy Ireland, winning by eight lengths, with Betfair chopping his Champion Hurdle odds from 40/1 to 25s.

Cromwell said: "He was in the big one at Leopardstown so I decided to come here thinking it was the easier option, but it was actually a very good race.

"For 50 or 100 yards it looked like he was in was in a small bit of bother, but when he got going then he was good. He jumped the last well and went to the line well. He certainly seems to be growing up.

"I really don't know about (running in the Champion Hurdle) as he is only a four-year-old and I don't know where we'll go next. I'll chat to the lads (owner), but I wouldn't be in a hurry with him as next year will be his year."

Farclas' jockey Jamie Codd was taken to hospital, with one of the two racecourse doctors accompanying him which caused a short delay to the action.

When racing resumed, all eyes were on Annamix ahead of his debut in the Future Ticketing.ie Maiden Hurdle.

Willie Mullins' grey has long been touted as a potentially high-class addition to the hurdling ranks, but was beaten on his belated debut by Press Conference (3/1) for Jessica Harrington.

The odds-on favourite had been keen enough but there were otherwise no excuses as he jumped well and held every chance before being reeled in by the well-backed second-favourite.

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