Sa Fureur profited from the final fence exit of red-hot favourite Hunters Yarn to open his account over fences in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase at Fairyhouse.
The top-class pair of Blue Lord and El Fabiolo had landed the last two runnings of the extended two-mile contest for trainer Willie Mullins, jockey Paul Townend and owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, and Hunters Yarn was a 1-3 shot to make it a hat-trick for all concerned on his chasing bow.
A three-time bumper winner and twice successful over hurdles, Hunters Yarn looked to have victory in the bag after cruising to the front but blundered badly and crashed out at the last obstacle.
Gordon Elliott’s Sa Fureur, who had fallen on his fencing bow behind Mullins-trained star Facile Vega at Navan four weeks ago, was left in splendid isolation following Hunters Yarn’s tumble and came home with 40 lengths in hand over the eventual runner-up Byker under Jack Kennedy.
“He was a fortunate winner, but he was going to be a nice second and was running a good race,” Elliott said afterwards.
“I just hope the faller is okay, we had a bit of luck on our side – if you haven’t luck at this game, you have nothing.
“Jack said he showed a good attitude. We’ll probably look at one of those rated novice chases, or we could step him into a handicap.”
Elliott and Kennedy doubled up in the Hytech EQ Ultra 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle, with Pacini justifying 5-4 favouritism with relative ease.
The three-year-old set the standard on jumping form, after finishing fifth and fourth respectively on his first two attempts, and he made it third time lucky with a six-and-a-half-length verdict.
Elliott added: “It looked like a grand opportunity and he did it well.
“He’s been working well at home and we fancied him the first day, he just got a fright. He jumped a lot better there today and he stayed going well. He’s going to win his races.”
Kennedy ended the afternoon with a treble after steering Ted Walsh’s 10-1 shot Pictures Of Home to a head victory in the Tote Always SP Or Better @Fairyhouse Handicap Hurdle.
Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore combined to land the Lacey’s Plumbing & Heating Supplies Maiden Hurdle with 7-2 chance Chigorin.
O’Moore Park, the 4-6 favourite to make a winning comeback after 596 days off the track, was ultimately a little disappointing in finishing third.
De Bromhead’s assistant, Robbie Power, said of the winner’s display: “We’re delighted with that. He stepped forward nicely from Naas, we thought he wanted three miles and he’s proved us right.
“He’s still learning, the penny is only starting to drop with him now, so hopefully he can keep improving.
“He’s an out-and-out stayer and you won’t see the best of him until he goes chasing. He’s a fine, big, strong horse and he’ll be a nice one to look forward to next season.”
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