'Rocky' proves a Mullins knock-out
Willie Mullins sent just one runner to Downpatrick yesterday, and those who took note of the champion trainer's sole entry were rewarded when Rockyaboya landed the staying maiden hurdle.
The 7/2 second favourite was patiently ridden by the trainer's son Patrick and just after favourite Earth Tremor took the lead at the top of the hill, Rockyaboya swept past Edward O'Grady's charge to score by two and a half lengths.
"He stays well and he needs a trip," said the winning rider. "He should make a chaser in time as he is a fine horse, which is owned by a syndicate from Carlow."
Barry Geraghty notched his third winner for Tony Martin from just six rides this season when Golan Guy ran out a comfortable winner of the two and a quarter mile beginners' chase.
Always prominent under Geraghty, the 6/1 chance took the lead at the second last and though Definite All Star put up a real fight on the run-in, Golan Guy ran on strongly to score by seven and a half lengths.
Presidential election hopeful Sean Gallagher enjoyed a winner in the staying novice chase as the Gordon Elliott-trained Bacher Boy ran out an easy winner under Paul Carberry, while finish of the day came in the handicap chase when the Kevin McDonagh-trained outsider Robertstown Rover proved strongest under Niall Madden after four held chances at the last.
Teak showed tremendous battling qualities to make every yard of the running in the opening maiden hurdle.
Adrian Maguire's 3/1 favourite pulled clear approaching the final turn, but King Of Aran loomed large inside the final furlong. He could not get on terms, though, as Teak kept finding more for the in-form Declan Bates, scoring by half a length.
The Fahey family from Monasterevin, Co Kildare, were celebrating after Point The Toes finished strongly to deny Breeze With Ease in the handicap hurdle. Trained by Paul Fahey and ridden by his nephew Brendan, the winner pounced on the final bend just after Breeze With Ease had got the better of a protracted battle with Claragh Native.
The concluding bumper went to the Kieran Purcell-trained Bridget's Pet, which went away in the final furlong to defeat second favourite Falcarragh.