Silent Approach provided her trainer, owner and breeder Con O’Keeffe with the biggest success of his career as she registered a shock victory in the O’Flynn Group Irish EBF Mares Novice Chase at Cork.

Although a winner on her chasing debut at Galway last month, the five-year-old faced a huge rise in class for this Grade Two contest and was priced up accordingly at 33-1.

For much of the extended two-mile contest, things appeared to be going to script, with 6-5 favourite Harmonya Maker setting out to make all the running and provide jockey Jack Kennedy with a fourth successive victory on the card.

However, she hung left approaching the first fence on the second circuit and halfway down the back straight Silent Approach was given her head and allowed to stride on in front by Danny Mullins.

To her credit, Harmonya Maker managed to stay in the fight until the approach to the final fence, after which Silent Approach stamped her authority and pulled three and a quarter lengths clear.

“It is a great win and I must dedicate it to my wife Claire, who lost her mother Peggy last week. She was always the first one to ring me after we won a race, so this is great for Claire and my family,” said O’Keeffe.

“We have been jumping hurdles all year, but the lads have been saying to jump fences and she is a fantastic jumper who is improving all the time. We were hopeful, as she was in great form and Danny gave her a fantastic ride.

“We have had the family for three generations and you could write what I know about training horses on a postage stamp, as breeding is our game. I’m delighted for Tadhg (O’Sullivan, co-owner), who has been with me with our horses from the beginning.”

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