Mullins clan hit form with timely treble at Clonmel
Quiscover Fontaine starred in a treble for trainer Willie Mullins at Clonmel yesterday to enhance his Cheltenham prospects.
Two were ridden by Mullins' nephew Emmet, who underlined his rising talent as he guided Quiscover Fontaine to a 17-length victory over Swift Counsel in the Powerstown Chase. The six-year-old's task was made easier when the pace-setting Whatuthink fell two out, but the 6/5 favourite looked to have his measure. Quiscover Fontaine was cut to 33/1 for the Irish Independent Arkle Trophy.
The trainer was absent as he was attending the funeral of jockey Ronan Lawlor, who was tragically killed in a gallops accident earlier in the week. Winning owner Brendan Doyle explained: "Willie was giving an eulogy at the funeral of Ronan Lawlor. He grew up with (son) Patrick and Emmet and they were in the same class at national school. He was a close friend."
The champion trainer had earlier struck with 8/13 favourite Some Target, who was driven out by Ruby Walsh to hold the challenge of long-time leader Fennis Boy in the Demense Maiden Hurdle.
The Midnight Club completed the hat-trick in the beginners chase, which the evens favourite won by 11 lengths from Kind Oscar to complete the double for Emmet Mullins, who wore a black armband in a tribute Lawlor. Owned by the Cistercian College Roscrea Racing Syndicate, the famed school where his rider has been educated, the chestnut took control when Diophas and Afterburn fell two out.
Sean McDermott was stood down for the rest of the day following a fall from Seaside Shuffle in the opener and missed a winner when Knockbrack Vic took the Ballypatrick Handicap Hurdle.