Mangan thrilled with Golden Boy

Joy for trainer Jimmy as Whinstone repeats dad Paddy's '81 victory

Niall Cronin

Since his father won the race in 1981 with June's Friend, the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park was a race long in the eye-line of Jimmy Mangan who took over the licence when his father Paddy passed away the following year.

Yesterday the 2003 Aintree Grand National-winning trainer realised his long ambition and landed a major gamble en route as Whinstone Boy made virtually all the running on the way to landing the prestigious three-mile feature at the Kilkenny track.

A 14/1 chance when prices were released following Wednesday's declarations, the nine-year-old by Supreme Leader was backed into 5/1 second favourite by the time the 17 runners jumped off and having been settled in third early by Sean Flanagan, he was soon sent to the front where he stayed until he passed the line a length and a quarter in front of Conor O'Dwyer's Hangover.

For 21-year-old Wexford jockey Sean Flanagan it was the second leg of a double and another major feather in the youngster's cap after he had 12 months ago won the MCR Hurdle (then known as the Pierse) aboard Pennys Bill for trainer Liz Doyle.

"The Thyestes is a race I always wanted to win, ever since my father won it here in 1981 and I was just talking to Dessie Hughes beforehand and I think it was one of the most competitive renewals of the race," said winning trainer Mangan, who is based in Mallow.

With an impressive performance as such, it was really no surprise that Whinstone Boy would now appear to be Liverpool bound as Mangan eyes a return to where Monty's Pass gave him his finest hour.

"The three lads love Liverpool and I would love to run him in the National. He will get an entry anyway and if not running there he will go for the Topham. The three lads are from Belfast and were involved with Monty's Pass."

He continued: "I would have been disappointed if he didn't get in here and I had the Galmoy Hurdle as a saver. He's had a slight few problems and was a bit weak in his tendons. I told Sean to make plenty of use with him with the light weight and this is my biggest win since Aintree."

For Flanagan it was another major win and he said afterwards: "It's a great race to win and it goes down in the record books. He was a bit keen early on and I just let him bowl along and he enjoyed it more when he got to the front.

"I got a nice lead from Davy down the back and he jumped the last two well and stayed on well to the line."

On a miserable day, there was a very warm reception for 2006 Gold Cup winner War Of Attrition who caused a slight shock result in the Grade 2 Galmoy Hurdle in the hands of Niall Madden.


The Mouse Morris team have been in flying form since racing returned after the frost and having made all the running, he went clear from two out to stay on well to beat Powerstation by four lengths as odds-on favourite Oscar Dan Dan never featured.

With former jockey Conor O'Dwyer looking on, the 11-year-old was welcomed back fittingly to the winner's enclosure where the winning trainer admitted: "I really did get a good kick out of that."

However, when speaking of further plans Morris also revealed: "The Aintree Grand National will be his last run, he will be retired then. I will have to speak to the owners but he is in the World Hurdle."

War Of Attrition was one of 12 Irish entries in the 35 received for the World Hurdle yesterday and was cut to 33/1 from 100/1 by the sponsors Ladbrokes, while Boylesports introduced him at 20/1 to bow out in style at Aintree.

Morris concluded: "He's nearly as old as myself but he still has a little sparkle. We just ran him over hurdles to let him enjoy it and he did.

"He had his ears pricked the whole way and he loved it. They were all there and had no excuses and I haven't had that much pleasure since he won the Gold Cup."

Willie Mullins completed a second treble in as many days, the highlight of which was the facile display of Secant Star who compensated for his final flight exit at Leopardstown over Christmas to comprehensively put his rivals in the opening four-year-old hurdle aside with ease.

Mullins said afterwards: "He's fairly decent on that performance and we will have to step him up in grade now -- possibly the Grade 1 on February 7th at Leopardstown, that may come too soon but it could be where we have to go. He will get an entry for the Triumph Hurdle."

Another to appear to book his flight onboard the plane set for Cheltenham in March was winning chasing debutant Uimhiraceathair for which Mullins said: "I have the RSA Chase in the back of my mind after that performance."

The Mullins treble was completed by Paul Kristian in the last as the Patrick Mullins ridden seven-year-old justified his odds on position in the market.