EADESTOWN, Ireland--French Light finished a very good second in a $31,000, 2 1/16 mile Listed Novice Hurdle at Punchestown Racetrack in Ireland on Feb. 16.
Irv Naylor's French Light, trained by Keri Brion and ridden by Gerard Galligan, raced mid pack, trading places for third and fourth through most of the race, making a move to come up even for the lead over the last and was beaten by three or four lengths on the run-in by Thedevilscoachman, trained by Noel Meade and finishing five or six lengths in front of Fire Attack, trained by J.P. O'Brien.
The favorite, Power Of Pause. trained by Willie Mullins, finished fourth.
"We were delighted with him," said Brion. "It was a very tough race. The horse that won is a grade one horse. He's listed at 12-1 in the Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham. And how cool is it to beat a Willie Mullins' favorite."
"French Light in a very good horse," said Brion. "When we ran him in the G1 a couple of weeks ago, the going was more heavy, and he had a bit of a cough. He ran huge today."
French Light also finished second in the race on Jan. 20 at Clonmel.
"Gerard was delighted with him," said Brion. "Gerard gave him a great ride. He saved ground all the way and kept him on the inside."
"We'll probably run him back in Ireland around the time of Cheltenham," said Brion. "The ground will be better then, and some of the better horses will be in England for Cheltenham. We'll try to get a win for him."
"Baltimore Bucko will run next in a little bit longer race Saturday at Gowran Park." said Brion. "It's a 2 1/2 mile hurdle race. Then Winston C is aimed for a race at Leopardstown on March 7. We're going to keep him in Ireland to try to win a race."
"Fancy Pance, Clondaw Camp and Francois will probably all run within the next couple of weeks" said Brion.