The Raymond Smith Memorial Hunters Steeplechase saw Salsify put in an impressive round of jumping to record a three and three parts of a length victory.
Salsify who is trained by Roger Sweeney was ridden confidently by his son Colman and the son of Beneficial took up the running after the last and ran on well from there when driven out, scoring by three and three parts of a length.
Tony Martin’s Saddlers Storm who bravely tried to make all the running finished a gallant second with last year’s winner and favourite On The Fringe back in third.
Salsify was last seen in the winner’s enclosure when winning the Champion Hunters Chase at Punchestown last May but since had disappointed.
Sent off 11/1 today, Salsify showed his true form and winning trainer Roger Sweeney said after the race “If he comes out of this alright we will have a look at the Foxhunters with him. There is some difference between the ground and the ground at the Thurles the last day. That’s nice ground for him as he’s probably more of a spring horse. He deserves a crack at it.”
Dessie Hughes was very disappointed with his horse Vic Venturi who never raised a gallop and trailed in a disappointing twelfth after running no race under jockey Robbie McNamara.
The Foxhunters Chase at Cheltenham is now on Salsify’s agenda and the seven year old gelding looks set to run another big race at Prestbury Park in March.