Twinlight lands huge punt
One of the biggest gambles of the Irish National Hunt season was landed at Fairyhouse yesterday when Willie Mullins' Twinlight won the Weatherbys Ireland GSB Hurdle in dramatic circumstances.
Ruby Walsh was hard at work rounding the home turn in fifth place when the runaway leader, Chaperoned, took a heavy fall. Fearless Falcon then came down at the same flight, in turn interfering with Devils Bit, which also hit the deck.
Backed from 5/1 in the morning into 5/4 favouritism, Twinlight still made heavy weather of things, but held off the fast-finishing Rocky Wednesday by three lengths.
"We'll head to Punchestown with Twinlight, but I've no immediate race in mind," Mullins said.
The County Carlow handler soon doubled up when 6/1 chance Lambro, ridden by his nephew Emmet Mullins, came up trumps following a protracted duel with Mackeys Forge in the Coolmore NH Sires Ask & Getaway Novice Hurdle.
Last Instalment, the 3/1 favourite, was always prominent but grew weary on the run-in.
"I really don't know how good Lambro is and we put him in hoping for, but not expecting, a win. He is an improving horse," Mullins added.
The Davy Russell-ridden Jack Cool (5/1 joint-favourite) showed plenty of grit to repel Action Master in the www.thetote.com Handicap Hurdle.
"He is a very straightforward horse and to win here was a real bonus," his trainer Charles Byrnes said. "He'll be heading up to Graded company now but unfortunately he isn't entered in any of the novice races at Punchestown next week -- he'll go chasing at some stage too."
Idarah sprang a 25/1 surprise in the Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase. Paul Cashman's grey eight-year-old proved a willing ally for Phillip Enright and jumped the last virtually alongside Osana, but had a little more left in the tank to score by a length.
"Idarah is a lovely horse and this is my biggest win as a trainer,"Cashman said. "Phillip was very cool on him and they went a proper gallop.
"He is versatile ground-wise and Phillip said he should get two and a half miles, so maybe he may develop into a Galway Plate horse."
Rising Time (16/1), expertly ridden by Andy Duff, scooped the valuable Tattersalls Ireland Sales INH Bumper for the Paul Nolan operation.