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Silent Approach puts in a spectacular round of jumping at Cork

Waterford trainer Con O'Keeffe saddled Silent Approach to spring a 33-1 upset in the Grade 2 O'Flynn Group Irish EBF Mares Novice Chase at Cork on Sunday, securing a poignant success for connections.

The five-year-old was rated 109 over hurdles and was having her second start over fences after bolting up in a Gowran Park beginners' chase last month. On paper, it seemed a tall order given Grade 1-winning juvenile Zenta and four-time winner and 6-5 favourite Harmonya Maker were in opposition, and Silent Approach was unconsidered in the market in the five-runner field.

However, Danny Mullins always cut a confident figure and he began to get his pursuers off the bridle after an excellent leap at the third-last. After fending Harmonya Maker off, Mullins' mount began to get lonely in front and wandered around coming to the penultimate fence but sealed the upset with two more nimble jumps and came home three and a quarter lengths to the good.

Harmonya Maker rallied to take second, while Zenta was two and a half lengths further back in third.

O'Keeffe said: "It's a great win and I must dedicate it to my wife Claire, who lost her mother Peggy last week. She was always the first one to ring me after we won a race so this is great for Claire and my family.

"We have been jumping hurdles all year with her, but the lads have been saying to jump fences. She's a great jumper and is improving all the time. 

"Danny gave her a fantastic ride and credit also to the lads – Larry, Eddie, Justin and Dylan at home. We have had the family for three generations and you could write what I know about training horses on a postage stamp as breeding is our game. I'm delighted for Tadgh [O'Sullivan, joint-owner], who has been with me from the beginning."

Treble for Kennedy

Jack Kennedy got his afternoon off to the perfect start on the Joseph O'Brien-trained Harsh, who justified 2-5 favouritism in the opening three-year-old maiden hurdle, kickstarting a quick treble for the rider.

The highlight came in the Grade 3 Singletons Supervalu Stayers Novice Hurdle where 7-4 favourite Search For Glory relished the step up to three miles and ran out an authoritative winner for Gordon Elliott.

The six-year-old finished third in the Grade 3 Monksfield Novice Hurdle over 2m4f at Navan last month and coped with the extra distance in splendid fashion, powering three lengths clear of the Enda Bolger-trained Solitary Man.

Kennedy said: "He stays well, jumped and travelled great and is progressive. He's a staying horse and hopefully can keep going the right way."

Paddy Power introduced the winner at 20-1 for the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.

The Elliott-trained No Time To Wait formed the middle leg of Kennedy's treble when he landed the 2m½f maiden hurdle in cosy fashion.

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