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Mullins magic at Fairyhouse

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SOME of the horses who failed to win at the Cheltenham Festival earned notable compensation yesterday at Fairyhouse as trainers Willie Mullins and Dessie Hughes both had profitable afternoons.

The four graded contests were all won by horses who failed to make the frame at last month's Festival and it was Mullins who took the feature race of the afternoon with Adriana Des Mottes.

VICTORY

Indeed, it was a 1-2-3 for the champion trainer in the Grade One Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle as the four-year-old, who had been brought down by her stable companion Abbyssial in the Triumph Hurdle, led home Beluckyagain and Urticaire in an impressive seven-length victory under Paul Townend.

"I suppose it's a bit like having three winners with Adriana Des Mottes winning and Beluckyagain and Urticaire also getting Grade One black-type.

"We are probably lucky the incident happened so early at Cheltenham but I suppose you'd wonder how well both of them (Adriana Des Mottes and Abbyssial) would have run in the Triumph Hurdle. She could go to Punchestown and I don't know what she might do after that," said Mullins.

Valseur Lido gave owners Gigginstown House Stud a 1-2 in the Grade Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Novice Hurdle as the Mullins runner reeled in Philip Fenton's Real Steel to oblige by four-and-a-quarter lengths with Davy Russell on board.

IMPORT

Having been 10th in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, the French import progressed readily to please the winning trainer.

"That turned out to be a better race than we thought it would be initially. It was a good ride from Davy as he just bided his time and I love the battling qualities of the horse."

Mullins added: "I don't think this horse would have any problem going an extra half mile and he'll be entered in everything at Punchestown."

Punchestown may not be on the agenda for Gigginstown's first Grade Two winner of the afternoon as the Dessie Hughes-trained Lieutenant Colonel continued the fantastic season of jockey Brian O'Connell and Hughes as he ran out a 10-length winner of the Coolmore NH Sires Novice Hurdle.

The Neptune Investments sixth could remain over hurdles next season, according to Hughes.

SMASHING

"He's a smashing horse and ran a lovely race at Cheltenham but was still a bit green as he ran off the last bend a bit. We said that was it for the season but he did so well physically that we said we'd take our chance and Punchestown might be stretching it a bit," said Hughes.

"He's only five and the owners have a lot to go novice chasing so he might stay over hurdles.

"With his pace he might be able to run in those races like the Hatton's Grace."

Proceedings began with Arvika Ligeonniere bouncing back from pulling up in the Champion Chase to land the Grade Two Norman's Grove Chase.


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