Friday 9 December 2016

Marty Morrissey jumping for joy with Miriam O'Callaghan at star-filled Punchestown Festival

Published 28/04/2015 | 19:10

RTE presenters Miriam O'Callaghan and Marty Morrissey at the day's races. Punchestown Racecourse, Punchestown, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
RTE presenters Miriam O'Callaghan and Marty Morrissey at the day's races. Punchestown Racecourse, Punchestown, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
28 April 2015; Dublin footballers Bernard Brogan, left, and Paul Flynn at the day's races. Punchestown Racecourse, Punchestown, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

RTE presenters Miriam O'Callaghan and Marty Morrissey were among the punters at Punchestown racecourse today for Day One of the famous festival.

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The pair were pictured during a busy day in Kildare with the sports journalist jumping for photographers next to the Prime Time presenter.

Other well-known faces included Taoiseach Enda Kenny, former Taoiseach Brian Cowen, Dublin footballers Bernard Brogan and Paul Flynn

On the track, Felix Yonger outgunned Baily Green to clinch victory in a thrilling BoyleSports Champion Chase.

RTE presenters Miriam O'Callaghan and Marty Morrissey at the day's races. Punchestown Racecourse, Punchestown, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
RTE presenters Miriam O'Callaghan and Marty Morrissey at the day's races. Punchestown Racecourse, Punchestown, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

A 5-1 shot off the back of winning his last three races, Yonger was waited with in the two-mile feature before gradually making headway to close on the leaders down the back straight.

"He's riding full of confidence," trainer Willie Mullins said. "He sat on him and waited his turn, letting his lungs fill with air and came with one run. It paid off.

Mullins also celebrated victory in the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle on the opening day of the Punchestown Festival, hailing Douvan "as good as we've ever had" after another scintillating display.

Ruby Walsh cut a confident figure throughout the Grade One event and loomed ominously alongside the strongly-ridden Sizing John in the straight.

28 April 2015; Dublin footballers Bernard Brogan, left, and Paul Flynn at the day's races. Punchestown Racecourse, Punchestown, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
28 April 2015; Dublin footballers Bernard Brogan, left, and Paul Flynn at the day's races. Punchestown Racecourse, Punchestown, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Once given his head, Douvan sealed the deal in a matter of strides and passed the post seven and a half lengths clear without being extended.

Mullins won this race with subsequent Champion Hurdle hero Faugheen a year ago, while the mighty Hurricane Fly claimed the third of his 22 top-level victories to date in the 2009 renewal.

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