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Donal Murphy

Donal Murphy

Still Ciel makes all to complete de Bromhead double

Still Ciel and Darragh O'Keeffe pictured on their way to victoryStill Ciel and Darragh O'Keeffe pictured on their way to victory
© Photo Healy Racing

Still Ciel made all in the Thurles Mares Maiden Hurdle, completing a double for Henry de Bromhead, with Rachael Blackmore again missing this winning ride.

Blackmore is expected to be out of action for a 'few days' after a fall on the gallops, with Darragh O'Keeffe replacing her on this Westerner bay.

The winner of a point-to-point at Boulta last November when in the care of owner Breandan Long, she filled the runner-up spot on her most recent starts at Cork and Killarney respectively.

Available at 2/1 in early shows, the five-year-old eventually went off the clear 4/6 favourite. Pushed along from two out, she was pressed by Beyond Ambitious from the last and just half-a-length separated the pair at the line.

The runner-up was returned at (8/1 from 18s) under Ben Harvey for his grandfather David, with the Gavin Cromwell trained Pachmena (7/1) all of 16-lengths back in third.

"I'm delighted for Breandan (Long, owner/breeder) who has been a great supporter of ours over the last couple of years, de Bromhead, who earlier scored with Secret She Keeps said.

"She is a lovely mare and has been unlucky not to win. It is unfortunate for Rachael but great Darragh was able to step in and he gave her a super ride.

"She is a well-bred mare and will improve plenty still. She has been in a long time and that looked like a tired run today so I think we'll give her a break until the spring. We could bring her back for the mares' handicap hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival."

Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes