Friday 21 October 2016

No joy for Mullins on French raid as Pipe takes top prize

Thomas Kelly

Published 18/05/2015 | 02:30

Willie Mullins was out of luck with his weekend French raid (Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE)
Willie Mullins was out of luck with his weekend French raid (Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE)

Willie Mullins was out of luck with his weekend French raid, the champion trainer having to settle for two respectable runner-up berths with Val De Ferbet and Analifet.

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Success in Saturday's big race at Auteuil, the Prix la Barka, went to David Pipe's Ballynagour, which landed the Grade Two spoils under Tom Scudamore, with Val De Ferbet staying on well under Ruby Walsh to get within five lengths of the winner.

Mullins' other runner Gitane Du Berlais weakened out of contention after setting the pace.

In the Listed hurdle for fillies and mares, Bryan Cooper had the Mullins-trained Analifet in the perfect position throughout but up the straight the Michael O'Leary-owned mare had no answer to the finishing burst of the locally-trained Turteene which galloped six lengths clear of her at the line.

Yesterday, Mullins' 2014 Gold Cup runner-up On His Own finished out of the money as Milord Thomas took the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris.

The Domique Bressou-trained 11/4 favourite had to withstand the persistent challenge of his old adversary Shannon Rock, which was finishing second in the race for the fourth year running.

On His Own was prominent early on but was beaten before the turn for home and finished seventh.

At Newbury on Saturday Ryan Moore very nearly stole Richard Hannon's Lockinge thunder with a fantastic 1,962/1 five-timer.

Hannon gained a superb one-two in the Lockinge Stakes, with Night Of Thunder beating stablemate Toormore, but he was partially eclipsed on a miserable day for bookmakers, who had to endure another Moore masterclass.

There was no respite for layers, either, as James Doyle brought the 11/4 joint-favourite Night Of Thunder home to record a neck success in the Lockinge.

Hannon said: "As the year goes on, the races open in Europe. . . there is the Queen Anne, there is the Moulin and the Prix Jacques le Marois. . . there are a lot of lovely races."


Yet it was Moore who stole the limelight with his famous five, two of them for Michael Stoute.

Telescope, the star of Moore's five-timer, will head to the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot after he recorded a six-length romp in the Al Rayyan Stakes.

Meanwhile, trainer Bob Baffert refused to discuss American Pharoah's chances of becoming the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to claim the American Triple Crown after the colt breezed to victory in the Preakness Stakes.

The high-class colt added to his gains in the Kentucky Derby on May 2 with a five-length demolition job in testing conditions at Pimlico racecourse.

Next up for American Pharoah is a chance of making history by winning the third leg of the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes in three weeks' time.

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