Fairyhouse trebles for in-form Mullins and Walsh
IT was a case of trebles all round as champion trainer Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh both recorded three-timers at Fairyhouse yesterday.
The successful trainer and jockey team combined for two of the winners -- the first of which was the impressive success of Ceol Rua (8/11 favourite) in the two-mile maiden hurdle.
"Ceol Rua jumped a lot better today than her previous run and is improving, although she is still very careful," explained Mullins. "She'll move up in grade gradually and I'd like to find a mares' race for her."
Mullins and Walsh then combined to land the two-and-half-mile maiden hurdle with red-hot favourite Sous Les Cieux (30/100 favourite). Walsh held up the son of Robin Des Champs in the early stages before letting the French-bred gelding saunter to the front from two out, from where he galloped clear of bumper winner Rourke's Cross.
"Sous Les Cieux shows a lot at home and while he is still a bit novicey, he'll be a better horse in a race with more pace," said Mullins. "He'll have no trouble coming back to two miles; I'd not be afraid to bring him anywhere and he's entered in the Royal Bond and we'll have to have a think about that."
This success rounded off Walsh's 9/1 treble, which was initiated by the victory of Savello in the featured conditions hurdle. The John Berry-trained winner, strongly supported into 7/2 second favourite, came under pressure in the straight as Staying Article and Organisedconfusion came to challenge.
The latter, winner of the Irish Grand National in April, was staying on stoutly until making an untidy jump at the last, leaving Savello to get the better of Staying Article by three parts of a length.
Mullins notched his own hat-trick when Are Ya Right Chief (4/1), ridden by his son Patrick, captured the concluding bumper after wearing down leader Mooney's Cottage for a half-length win.
"That was a good staying performance and he'll go hurdling now," remarked the Closutton handler. "I think he'll need every inch of two and a half miles and will be a chaser down the line. Patrick thought he moved well and would go on better ground."
Luke's Benefit, trained and ridden by Denis Hogan, led his rivals a merry dance in the Trinity College Dublin Horseracing Society Handicap Hurdle. Despite being penalised for Monday's success at Limerick, Hogan's charge was sent off the 5/2 favourite and made all to beat Give Us A Hand by three and three-quarter lengths.
Last season's champion conditional Bryan Cooper took a fall from Cordless in this contest and is likely to be out of action for a couple of weeks after breaking a bone in one of his wrists.
Noel Meade's Leroy Parker (2/1) edged out His Excellency to take the opening juvenile hurdle in the hands of Paul Carberry while the Gurteen Agricultural College Handicap Hurdle saw Harold's Cross (9/4 favourite) battle past Wicklow Lad to score for Alan Crowe and Christy Roche.
Afterwards owner JP McManus' racing manager Frank Berry stated: "Harold's Cross will stay over hurdles for the moment and we'll try to find another one like that with him now."