Saturday 21 September 2019

'Bull' seals Thurles double for Mullins

Trainer Willie Mullins
Trainer Willie Mullins

Thomas Kelly

Willie Mullins completed a double at Thurles when Brahma Bull justified prohibitive odds in the Maiden Hurdle.

Sent off the 2/9 favourite on the back of three bumper successes, the near-three-mile trip proved ideal for Brahma Bull, which travelled with zest behind leader Eviscerating.

When Paul Townend asked him to take control at the second last, he was a little untidy over the flight but bounded clear to score by 11 lengths.

Mullins' son Patrick said: "Everything went right. He gave a few of the hurdles a lot of air, but we've needed to teach him to settle.

"He's such a big horse, we've had to wait a couple of years with him, but he's certainly paying it back now. He could be one for the four-mile chase next season."

Townend added: "He'll be better in a more competitive race with a stronger gallop, but this was a nice race to start him off and it was nice to see him do it.

"He was doing everything so easily, he was able to have a look round after going in front. A fence will be his job in the long term."

Brian Hayes was on board for Mullins' first winner on the card as True Self made it three wins on the bounce in the Templemore Mares Maiden Hurdle.

Flamingo's Court was faster than the 2/5 favourite through the air at many of the hurdles, but Hayes always appeared to have more horse under him and so it proved as she coasted clear after the last to win by six-and-a-half lengths.

Patrick Mullins said: "Her jumping will improve and it's good to know she can handle soft ground as well.

"She has plenty of gears and will go back on the Flat eventually but we'll keep going jumping over the winter.

"Brian did it very well and deserves all the opportunities he gets. He is in riding out once a week for us and it's his first winner for us.

"He's also my landlord so I might get a week's rent from this!"

Davy Russell, who is currently leading the Irish jumps jockeys' title race with 65 winners, was taken to hospital for precautionary x-rays on his left foot after taking a nasty tumble from Ronava at the third fence in the Littleton Handicap Chase.

Meanwhile, Michael Halford saddles three of the 11 runners in the Floodlit Friday Nights Handicap at Dundalk.

Katiymann opened his account in a maiden at the Galway Festival last year and enjoyed further success this term both at Leopardstown and last time when dropping back to seven furlongs on the Polytrack.

The Halford/Pat Smullen alliance should be on the mark half-an-hour earlier with Platinum Warrior in the Light Up Your Night At Dundalk Stadium Maiden.

The Galileo colt was reported to be lame post-race when just denied by The Kid Bobby B over this mile last month, and can now gain compensation.

The Ger Lyons-trained Brian's Bride is one to keep a close eye on for her handicap debut in the Christmas Party Nights At Dundalk Stadium Nursery.

Newly-crowned champion jockey Colin Keane also has bright prospects in the opening race with the John Feane-trained Midnitemudcrabs, which is weighted to reverse recent course places with Reckless Lad.

Irish Independent

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