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Enterprising Townend wins On His Own

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Vautour, with Paul Townsend up,at Punchestown, Co. Kildare. Picture: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile.

Vautour, with Paul Townsend up,at Punchestown, Co. Kildare. Picture: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile.

Vautour, with Paul Townsend up,at Punchestown, Co. Kildare. Picture: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile.

IN A season when opportunities have been limited for Paul Townend with Ruby Walsh basing himself at home, the former champion jockey enjoyed success in one of the season's most prestigious handicaps yesterday afternoon when he guided On His Own to his second Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park, writes Niall Cronin.

Under an enterprising front-running ride from Townend, the 2012 winner made most of the running to record a convincing success and give trainer Willie Mullins a record equalling fifth win in the Thyestes' 60-year history.

"I told Paul that I wanted On His Own to be the first horse called in the race by Dessie Scahill (commentator) and he carried out the instructions perfectly," Mullins said afterwards.

Sent off a 12/1 shot, On His Own was the apparent third string of the Mullins runners according to the betting, with the Gigginstown-owned Balnaslow finishing fourth with Ruby Walsh's mount Vesper Bell in ninth.

 

IMPROVER

"I wasn't surprised Ruby chose Vesper Bell as I would have looked at his form and, being eight, that he was an improver, whereas On His Own is a 10-year-old. I didn't think his form was good enough to win today, so I would have advised Ruby to ride Vesper Bell," said Mullins.

Boylesports go best priced 33/1 about On His Own for the Aintree Grand National, a race he has failed to complete in his previous two outings there, but Mullins said: "I don't see any reason why we won't go to Aintree with him. He can't win it if he's not there!" said Mullins.

A Mullins treble was instigated in the first race when Abbyssial justified his odds of 2/9 in the juvenile hurdle, while Black Hercules looked very impressive in the concluding bumper when he obliged by eight and a half lengths.

There was a slight turn-up in the Grade Two Galmoy Hurdle, however, as Zaidpour failed to bring his Grade One winning form to the race and that left Gordon Elliott to enjoy a 1-2 with Mala Beach, beating stable companion Un Beau Matin. "He's a nice horse and it was a messy race at Leopardstown which played into the hands of Zaidpour. He's in the World Hurdle but I'd say he'll only go there if it is soft and it's all about next year for him as he's a real three-mile chaser in the making," said Elliott.


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