The Stayers’ Hurdle market is already dominated by horses running in the Robcour colours, but yet another of their representatives leapt into the picture at the weekend, as Hiddenvalley Lake restarted his career with a smart success in Navan’s Grade 2 Boyne Hurdle.
The race has provided many a horse with a platform for Cheltenham Festival glory, none more famous than Tiger Roll, although Sire Du Berlais, who was last of seven here, also used it to spring to a shock Stayers’ Hurdle win a year ago. Connections of the vanquished will no doubt be left heartened by that, but it was Henry De Bromhead’s seven-year-old who won the day.
The chestnut was always prominent in proceedings, with Darragh O’Keeffe pressing the accelerator prior to the final flight. He ultimately decided the race there and then, winning by 3 1⁄4 lengths from Beacon Edge, with De Capo Glory third.
Hiddenvalley Lake had been sent chasing at the start of this season, but after falling on his debut in that sphere in December, he was not even given any Cheltenham Festival entries for this season. However, it is more than likely that connections may choose to supplement him for the Stayers’ Hurdle after this success.
The 12-year-old Sire Du Berlais will doubtless come on significantly for this success despite fading out of contention early, though Charles Byrnes’ Blazing Khal was the most significant drifter for Cheltenham off the back of this contest after being pulled up late on. Both Galvin and Delta Work stepped up their preparations for the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase by finishing fourth and sixth here too.