Ivanovich Gorbatov floored by Willie Mullins' trio in Spring Juvenile Hurdle
Published 06/02/2016 | 14:06
Footpad was a surprise winner as he led home a one-two-three for trainer Willie Mullins in the Gain Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown.
Hot favourite Ivanovich Gorbatov, trained by Aidan O'Brien, never got into contention after making a bad mistake at the fourth-last flight.
His failure to back up his hurdling debut success left the field open to the Mullins battalion, which has so often been the case this season.
Footpad (14-1) was the outsider of the Mullins' trio for the Grade One contest, but he travelled through from the rear to go on just before the final flight in the hands of the trainer's nephew, Danny Mullins.
Keeping on strongly up the run-in, the Simon Munir and Isaac Souede-owned winner landed the spoils by two and three-quarter lengths from Allblak Des Places, with Let's Dance just a nose behind in third to complete the Mullins whitewash.
The winning jockey said: "It's a great help to be given the chances on these good horses. He was very good today, I was a bit further back than I wanted to be but he was settled.
"One of the better judges in Willie's said to me this morning he would run well and he did."
The trainer said: "Danny took matters into his own hands. He felt they were going quick enough, and got him settled in behind and jumping. He jumped too big at Christmas and the hood was a help.
"Let's Dance was staying on again at the finish and would have been second in another few yards. She did all the hard work and will learn a lot from that.
"Allblak Des Places also ran a cracker, and I'd imagine all three will go for the Triumph."
Barry Geraghty, who rode the disappointing Ivanovich Gorbatov, said: "They went a very good gallop and he made mistakes because he was on the back foot."
Footpad is now 12-1 for the JCB Triumph Hurdle with Ladbrokes and 10-1 from 20-1 with BoyleSports and Betfair Sportsbook.
Ivanovich Gorbatov was pushed out to 7-1 from 5-2 with Betfair and to 6s with Ladbrokes, but is still only 4-1 for Cheltenham with BoyleSports.