Santa Rossa sparkles in Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary

Santa Rossa ran out an impressive winner of the Kevin McManus Bookmaker Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary for Dermot McLoughlin and Darragh O’Keeffe.

Only lightly-raced for an eight-year-old, the mare jumped to the lead two from home in the Grade Three feature and quickened smartly clear going to the last, which she negotiated safely.

The 9-1 chance was always holding the late challenge of Sole Pretender, finishing three lengths to the good.

“She was good,” said McLoughlin. “The plan was to jump her out – she was shuffled back the last day at Killarney and it didn’t suit.

“They were well cut up and strung out at halfway and I thought they went too quick, but he (O’Keeffe) said he had plenty of horse and jumped and travelled well.

“She is a quality mare and can be keen, but is better in a better race like that. Maybe the way to ride her is with a good gallop and with a bit of light as she seems to settle.”

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Looking to plans, McLoughlin added: “She will keep going until the weather changes and the Galway Hurdle might be an option for her and she’ll get in now. We might also run her on the Flat.”

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