The Big Galloper gave Irish trainer Charles Byrnes his first winner at Musselburgh when taking the Pertemps Network Group Handicap Hurdle at the Scottish track.

The eight-year-old was having his third run following a 10-month absence and second since being switched back to the smaller obstacles from fences.

The three-mile trip also suited The Big Galloper as he lived up to his name, making smooth progress to lead three flights from home and assert in the final half-furlong to beat Wakool by two and a half lengths in the hands of Adam Wedge.

The County Limerick trainer said: “He was in off a nice weight. Adam gave him a beautiful ride and kept him balanced. He’s very good.

“He doesn’t like jumping fences so I’ll keep him over hurdles for the time being.”

Conor O’Farrell enjoyed a double with Kihavah and Cedar Hill.

Kihavah, trained by Adrian Keatley, came out on top in an eventful race for the bet365 Scottish Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

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Only two of the five starters completed the course with Corrigeen Rock and Livelifetothemax coming down at the final flight, while the well-fancied Restandbethankful pulled up at the second-last.

That left Kihavah and Since Day One with the five-year-old finding plenty to beat the 6-4 favourite by two and a half lengths.

Keatley told Racing TV: “He quickened away from the favourite well and he won well.

“He’s done plenty of running since from early December and he’s had some hard races. There are couple of things we can tweak with him and he has a preference for better ground.

“I think the winter weather has yet to come so I think this will be the last of the ground we’re going to have for a while.

“We’ll freshen him up for the spring and we’ll mix it between the Flat and jumping.”

O’Farrell completed his brace when picking up the spare ride on Cedar Hill (11-2) in the bet365 Scottish Champion Handicap Chase.

With Ryan Mania stood down for the rest of the day following his fall from Livelifetothemax, O’Farrell stepped in and steered Sandy Thomson’s charge to victory by three lengths from Nero Rock.

Thomson said: “He’s tough as nails. He’s not got very big at some of the fences but round here he can get away with it. Two and a half (miles) round here is ideal for him.

“Fair do’s to Conor he’s not the easiest horse to get on at the last minute, but he gave him a great ride.

“Ryan is all right. He’s had a rough time the last two or three weeks and he felt a bit battered and bruised, but he’ll back to ride tomorrow at Carlisle.”



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