Tuesday 25 July 2017

Mullins has the last 'laugh' in Thurles feature

Trainer Willie Mullins took the Cashel Rated Novice Hurdle, with Livelovelaugh. Photo: PA
Trainer Willie Mullins took the Cashel Rated Novice Hurdle, with Livelovelaugh. Photo: PA

Thomas Kelly

It was a winner apiece at Thurles for champion trainer rivals Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott.

Mullins took the biggest prize on the card, the Cashel Rated Novice Hurdle, with Livelovelaugh which benefited from the second-last-flight exit of Elliott's Carrig Cathal.

Running in the colours of the Riccis, Livelovelaugh (5/2) was sent into the lead by Ruby Walsh at the third-last and was three lengths to the good when Carrig Cathal stumbled after the first flight in the straight and unseated Jack Kennedy. This left Walsh's mount clear and the pair finished 20 lengths ahead of stablemate Aussie Reigns.

Just over half-an-hour later, Kennedy made amends for Elliott aboard Champagne Classic which readily justified 11/10 favouritism in the staying maiden hurdle.

Elliott was expected to complete a double in the bumper as he sent out 8/11 favourite Back Bar for Gigginstown, but despite travelling well into the straight, Jamie Codd's mount found little for pressure and this enabled the Timmy Hyde-trained Planet Nine (7/1) to provide young Stephen Connor with his first winner.

Tw0 odds-on shots did prove successful - Jessica Harrington's Dont Touch It landed the novice chase in the hands of Mark Walsh, while Henry de Bromhead's Capital Force took the two-mile maiden hurdle for Davy Russell.

Irish Independent

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