Black Tears initiated a four-timer for Gordon Elliott at Punchestown on Monday with victory in the Quevega Mares Hurdle.
Elliott, who is under investigation by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board over an image posted on social media on Saturday, sent a strong team of horses to County Kildare for Punchestown’s latest fixture, but was not in attendance himself.
With the Willie Mullins-trained Great White Shark a significant non-runner, Black Tears was the 2-5 favourite for the Grade Three opener – and ultimately got the job done with relative ease.
After tracking The Getaway Star for much of for much of the two-and-a-half-mile contest, the seven-year-old moved strongly to the head of affairs on the approach to the final flight and pulled five lengths clear on the run-in in the hands of Jack Kennedy.
“It was very straightforward. She jumped and travelled well,” said the jockey.
“She picked off the leader easily and was idle up the straight.
“She jumped very well.”
Elliott and Kennedy combined for two more winners later in the afternoon, with Papal Lodge justifying 4-5 favouritism in division one of the Punchestown Festival Of A Different Colour Maiden Hurdle, and Coach Carter springing a 16-1 surprise in division two.
Kennedy added: “Papal Lodge seemed to be the best horse in the race, so I wanted to keep it simple on him. He jumped and travelled great and has done it well.
“Hopefully he can keep improving and there will be more to come from him.
“Coach Carter jumped great and travelled well. He’s a nice horse and hopefully he’ll keep improving.”
Elliott’s fourth winner of the day came in the concluding bumper, with 15-8 favourite Mighty Potter scoring readily under Jamie Codd.