Walsh and Mullins on fire with four-timer
AHEAD of tomorrow's big Leopardstown card, Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins showed they're in red-hot form by landing a 13/1 four-timer at Clonmel.
The all-conquering pair travelled to the Tipperary venue with just five runners, and took the two feature races with Inish Island and Call The Police, as well as striking with the highly promising mares Annie Power and Sarabad. They were denied a 100pc record when their final entry, the enigmatic Cadspeed, could only finish third in the novice chase.
Call The Police may figure in the Mullins team for the John Smith's Grand National after lifting the Derrygrath Chase. Third to Bobs Worth in last season's RSA Chase, Call The Police (5/6) was too good for this opposition.
Leading two out after first Bob Lingo and then Magnanimity had made the running, he outpointed the latter by three and a half lengths. Forpadydeplasterer was third.
"He's in everything, including the Grand National," said Mullins. "I wouldn't mind bringing him back to two miles either, as he's such a good jumper that he'd be able to perform at that shorter trip."
Inish Island (11/10 favourite) enjoyed a cosy success in the Surehaul Mercedes-Benz Novice Hurdle. The seven-year-old was last seen running second to At Fishers Cross in a Cheltenham handicap and he went one better under a confident ride.
He brushed aside Philip Fenton's Venture Capital, his only serious rival, in the closing stages to score by two lengths and was cut to 14/1 from 25/1 with Paddy Power for the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.
"He's already shown good form at Cheltenham and we'll have to consider the Albert Bartlett. We'll have a chat with the owners and see what they want to do," Mullins said.
Mullins predicts a bright future for Annie Power after the 1/3 hotpot followed up a debut jumps success in the Kilsheelan Mares Hurdle.
Despite being untidy at the final flight, Annie Power – which was bought out of Jim Bolger's yard – was untroubled to triumph by over six lengths and is now unbeaten in five outings.
"She was taking on more experienced mares today and did it well," said the Closutton master. "I think she handles all types of ground and that's good experience for her jumping around at that speed. The last was the only mistake she made.
"She's entered at Cheltenham, but I think we'll probably keep her at home – there's a good mares race at Fairyhouse. We think quite a lot of her and she could be anything."
Sarabad struck first for Mullins and Walsh with a 29-length romp in the maiden hurdle. "Ruby made it a test of stamina and that seems to be what he wants. I wouldn't be afraid to go two and a half or three miles with him," said Mullins of the 7/4 shot.
Cadspeed had every chance, but could not continue the Mullins and Walsh hot streak when having to settle for minor honours behind the Tony Martin-trained and Davy Russell-ridden Savello and Page Turner in the Kilmolash Beginners' Chase.
John Joe Walsh and Brian O'Connell were on the mark in the Minorstown Handicap Hurdle with the well-backed 7/2 favourite Whiskey And Rye.
Fiery Oscar looked set to score when hitting the front turning for home but O'Connell produced the market leader just before the last amd the elding kept on well for a two-success.
• There was success in faraway Dubai yesterday for David Marnane when his Elleval followed up a Dundalk win in December by showing a brilliant turn of foot to claim the Meydan Classic Trial under Fergal Lynch.