Bumper ace Fayonagh stars on first start over hurdles at Fairyhouse

Fairyhouse 7-10-17 FAYONAGH & Davy Russell jump the last to win the Fairyhouse Maiden Hurdle. (Photo HEALY RACING) Fayonagh made a winning start over obstacles with an authoritative performance in the Jumps Racing Returns To Fairyhouse Maiden Hurdle.
Last season's Champion Bumper heroine was a red-hot 2-13 favourite to extend her winning sequence to five at the County Meath track and Gordon Elliott's inmate put in a lovely round of jumping on her hurdling bow.
Davy Russell sent his mount straight to the front and the six-year-old only had to be pushed out to easily see off the challenge of Rock Road by two and a half lengths.
Elliott said: "It's job done. Davy was delighted that her jumping was so good and she was professional about it. I don't think she could have done any more than what she did. She's having a good blow and we know she is going to come on.
"What I loved was that down over the last two she was brilliant. I couldn't be happier and Down Royal is the plan now, all being well."
RaceBets quoted Fayonagh at 7-2 from 5-1 for the Mares' Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, and Elliott said: "I'm a big believer in winning what you can win, so at the moment the mares' race is the plan with her.
"You never know what's going to happen, but for me that's what I'd like to do.
"She's been pretty good (schooling), but until you go and see them do that on the track you never know.
"She made the running in a few of her bumpers, although I know she didn't do it in Cheltenham. Just sometimes in those maiden hurdles when you have so many runners if something goes wrong you can end up getting knocked down.
"She doesn't have to make the running, but I'd prefer to have them behind you than in front of you!"
Smart novice hurdler Shattered Love made her fencing debut a winning one in the Book Your Christmas Party At Fairyhouse December 16th Mares Beginners Chase.
Elliott said of the 1-6 favourite: "It wasn't a great race and on ratings she was entitled to win it. Jack (Kennedy) said she never really came out of second or third gear, but she wouldn't have wanted to.
"She jumped well and did everything right, but she'd have to up her game from that again to go to the next level.
"He said she jumped well the whole way, I loved how down over the last two she was straight as a die.
"We're under no illusions that she's going to have improve a lot from that run and we'll see what happens."
Elliott's classy hurdler Tombstone was another to have his first try over fences but had to settle for second behind the Willie Mullins-trained Bamako Moriviere (2-1) in the Winter Festival December 2nd & 3rd Beginners Chase.
Elliott said: "I was delighted with him. Ruby's (Walsh) horse was obviously very match-fit, but I thought our lad ran a good race.
"He jumped well and he'll be OK."