Sliabh Mhuire Lass made virtually all of the running as she returned to the winner’s enclosure for the first time since October 2018 after running out a comfortable winner of the Glenview And Rathbarry Stud Maiden Hunter Chase.
Sent off as a 4/1 shot, the 10-year-old who was appearing for the first time since departing at an early point in an open at Moig South in December, the daughter of Grandera put her experience to good use with a foot-perfect round of jumping from the front as she took advantage of an uncontested lead at the head of affairs.
Steadily increasing the tempo from the front, it was only the favourite Cardboard Gangster that was able to emerge from the back as a danger, and whilst the 2/1 favourite, who is a maiden under all codes, tried to get on terms with the vastly more experienced pace-setter, he could never fully get to her.
In the end the six-time points victor was able to add a first track success to her CV when crossing the line with a length and three quarters to spare for O’Connor’s brother Paurick and his wife Grainne.
The pair pulled well clear of their rivals in the home straight with Roundstone and Laura Costello ultimately coming through to take third ahead of Sunday’s Dromahane winner Ajijic who failed to fire following a quick return to action.
“She is a little temperamental, but in fairness to Grainne and Paurick (O’Connor) they have her well turned out today,” said the winning rider.
“I was looking at her in the parade ring beforehand and it was noticeable how well she was looking and her outlook was good so we dictated the race and albeit it was an average hunter chase, it was grand to win.
“Sometimes when mares can be a little temperamental you have to go with the flow and ride them accordingly in the race. If they are happy and they are travelling don’t change it, leave them be happy and that’s exactly what happened. We dictated, she jumped well, and it was a flawless display and she won.
“As long as the handicapper doesn’t play with her too much, she would be well up to winning off that mark (93), she has won six point-to-points and is no ordinary mare that takes a bit of doing.”