Saturday 24 February 2018

Blow By Blow makes it a first Grade One success for Katie Walsh at Punchestown

Blow By Blow keeps Moon Racer at bay
Blow By Blow keeps Moon Racer at bay

Blow By Blow made virtually every yard of the running under Katie Walsh for a famous success in the Champion INH Flat Race at Punchestown.

A winner at Navan in February and Fairyhouse in March, the Gigginstown House Stud-owned gelding was one of four runners fielded by Willie Mullins in a bid to win the Grade One prize for a fifth time in the last six years.

Walsh, who came in for the ride after stable companion Battleford was declared a non-runner, sent her mount straight to the lead and gradually wound up the gallop.

David Pipe's British raider Moon Racer (2-1 favourite), not seen since winning the Champion Bumper at last year's Cheltenham Festival, came from the rear of the field to mount his challenge in the straight, but Blow By Blow was not for passing and held on by three-quarters of a length.

Aintree winner Bacardys finished third, ahead of the strong-finishing Very Much So in fourth.

Walsh said: "I was meant to ride Battleford who was second at Cheltenham and second in Aintree, but things got swapped around this morning.

"I was half tempted to ride Very Much So, but Willie told me to ride Blow By Blow and I think he knows more about it than anyone else. I'm delighted to be on the right one.

"He's as tough as nails and I was looking for company. Patrick (Mullins) told me not to be afraid to wind it up.

"It's great to win a Grade One - I've never won before - so I'm massively over the moon."

Mullins said: "It takes a fair stayer to do what he did. I thought they were going a bit quick in front and it looked like Moon Racer came there to win.

"Katie was very good and very strong, and I was surprised to hear that is her first Grade One winner.

"I was happy with all four of runners there. They all seemed to run pretty well to form.

"Blow By Blow is improving and, being a Robin Des Champs, liked that ground. He looks an Albert Bartlett horse for next season and really is every inch a chaser."

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