Golden Silver shines for Mullins
Golden Silver recovered from a below-par Cheltenham run behind old rival Big Zeb to defy top weight at Fairyhouse yesterday in the Tattersalls Handicap Chase, for which stablemate Jayo was a well-backed favourite.
A dreadful blunder at the first of just two fences in the home straight due to the bad ground put paid to Jayo's chances as Paul Townend brought the 9/2 victor through to challenge front-running Blueberry Boy.
In his element in the testing conditions, Townend's mount got away quicker from the final obstacle than the 13/2 runner-up to credit the €52,000 prize to the account of Cork owner Mrs Violet O'Leary.
A melee five out had claimed fallers Mansony and Mighty Massini as well as Grand National hero Sky's The Limit, Andrew McNamara's mount which collided with the stricken pair and was brought down.
Nevertheless it was a splendid effort by the French-bred scorer and it was no surprise that champion trainer Willie Mullins is to target the Boylesports Champion Chase at Punchestown later this month.
"Ground is the key to Golden Silver and, all going well, he will be heading back to Punchestown. I thought it was worth taking a chance for such good prize money here even with that weight," Mullins explained.
Followers of the champion trainer were out in force in the betting ring in advance of the featured Ladbrokes.com Handicap Hurdle as two of his four runners in the field of a dozen attracted proper money.
Not alone did Cheltenham casualty C'est Ca start a definite market leader under Ruby Walsh, but the odds tumbled about Townend's mount Sivota which was competing 4lb above his official mark on his debut for the yard.
Ultimately they occupied second and fourth places respectively as the sponsors got yet another dream result courtesy of owner-trainer John Coleman's home-bred Un Hinged in the capable hands of Alan Crowe.
This veteran performer under both rules is often held up in his races, but a change of tactics advised by Coleman's racing manager James Nash to allow the 25/1 chance bowl along in front worked the oracle.
"Though he can be quite free in front he soon dropped the bit and enjoyed making the running," Crowe remarked.
Un Hinged was very much at home in the mud, as he had shown at Navan in late January in a conditions hurdle when foiling both Prince Of Fire and Magnanimity, which was also victorious yesterday.
Trained by Dessie Hughes for Michael O'Leary, Magnanimity likewise did the bookmakers a favour when proving a convincing 10/1 winner of the Bobbyjo Bar Festival Novice Hurdle to become Davy Russell's fifth success over the three afternoons of the Easter Festival.