Bitofapuzzle capped a fine season by providing our first Grade 1 success on Sunday in the Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final at Fairyhouse with a first prize of 60,000 Euros.
The testing conditions played to her strengths as she dominated the second half of the race before galloping home four and a quarter lengths ahead of the Irish mare Petite Parisienne.
Our second challenger Desert Queen was quite prominent in the early stages before finding things a bit too tough late on. There will be other days for her.
Bitofapuzzle has been a star for the stable all season and came tantalisingly close to victory against more experienced mares at the Cheltenham Festival on ground that was quicker than ideal and over a trip short of her best.
She was bouncing after that race, full of zest, and I was full of hope travelling to Ireland as she set a pretty decent standard.
With underfoot conditions ideal on Sunday it made sense for her jockey Noel Fehily to press on a long way from home and stretch the opposition.
The tactics could hardly have worked better. Bitofapuzzle has more than earned a long summer's rest now. I've always felt she would make a smart chaser and can't wait to see her running over fences over long distances next season.
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