There was great excitement when it was announced that Oscar Time would make his seasonal debut in Thurles last Thursday and much was expected of this incredibly popular horse and his jockey Sam Waley-Cohen. Runner-up in last season’s John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree, Oscar Time was heavily backed despite a tough field but try as he might, he was no match for the impressive Zaidpour who took the race.
Despite traveling comfortably throughout he couldn’t keep up with Zaidpour who pulled readily clear by Ruby Walsh when approaching two out. The Willie Mullins-trained horse finished seventh in the Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham on his final start last season and was more than ready for this race.
The five-runner field was tightly grouped rounding the final corner but the result was never in doubt once Zaidpour ranged alongside Boland’s Corner. He jumped into a clear lead and ran on strongly to register a comfortable success as the odds on 3/10 favourite.
Boland’s Corner kept on to take second while Oscar Time weakened up the straight and finished a weary fourth.
Martin Lynch, trainer of Oscar Time, added: “He’ll come on loads for that. Sam said he didn’t like the holding ground, it was too tacky for him and it was a muddling pace.
“He took a blow during the second last and the last and he’ll improve for it.”