Trainer Philip Fenton is without his stable star Dunguib this season but he has an able deputy in Last Instalment (IRE). The imposing son of Anshan made it two from two over fences when winning the Grade 2 Florida Pearl Novice Chase at Punchestown on Sunday. He stretched clear from the second last fence to beat Four Commanders (IRE) by six lengths to make it a 1-2 for Gigginstown House Stud. A Grade 1 Novice at Leopardstown over Christmas could be next on the agenda with Philip Fenton commenting; “Last Instalment put in a grand round of jumping and overall it was as perfect a performance as you could have asked for. We’ll feel our way with him but he is a heavy-topped horse, so soft ground is probably all important for him.” The winner was bred by John O’Mahoney who sold him as a 3yo in Goffs Land Rover sale to Kevin Power for €10,500. He won a point to point on his second outing and has developed into a top class chasing prospect winning five times from seven racecourse starts.
The previous race was also a Grade 2 Novice Chase, but over 2 miles and Days Hotel (IRE) put up a nice performance to win for trainer Henry De Bromhead. Ridden by Andrew Lynch, the 6yo jumped great and beat the useful Lucky William by six lengths. Days Hotel is another destined for Leopardstown at Christmas and his trainer is getting excited about his future prospects commenting; “Days Hotel jumped great and is improving all the time”. The winner is by Oscar and was homebred by his owner James Treacy, a hotelier from Waterford. The rest of Punchestown’s card was dominated by Willie Mullins who saddled four winners. They were headed by Thousand Stars win in the Grade 1 Ladbrokes.com Morgiana Hurdle. The wonderfully versatile grey has been a fantastic money-spinner for his owners, the Hammer & Trowel Syndicate. 8 of his last 10 runs have been in Grade 1 races; he has won twice and been placed in 7 of them.