Elliott draws rare blank as Mullins makes hay with treble
It was a rare meeting without a winner for Gordon Elliott but his main rival for the Irish trainers' championship Willie Mullins was in fine form at Clonmel with a 47/1 treble to cut Elliott's advantage to approximately €500,000.
Koshari (6/4 joint-favourite) made the most of a significant drop in class when scoring impressively in the Suir Valley Chase under Robbie Power with Valseur Lido (6/4 joint-favourite) failing to sparkle in third.
Henry de Bromhead's charge, which has won at Grade One level three times, had no answer when Power made his move two fences out and Mullins will aim to find a similar event for the six-year-old before the end of the season.
Natural "He's not a natural jumper on that ground and if I can find another race like that before the end of the season, it'd be lovely. It'd be hard to see him fighting out finishes at Punchestown but we'll search around the country and go out in trip," Mullins told irishracing.com.
Causey Arch (9/2) took advantage of the fall of Elliott's odds-on favourite Dorydalis (8/13), which also badly impeded It's Only A Number (4/1), to land the opening Holy Thursday Maiden Hurdle while Mullins also took the concluding Bumper with Castlebawn West (5/2).
With the trainer's son Patrick serving a ban for his use of the whip at Cheltenham, Limerick amateur Billy Gleeson secured his first winner under rules.
Elsewhere, Luckyinmilan (2/1 favourite) showed guts in abundance to take the Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Chase as Oliver McKiernan's charge notched his third win of the year under a fine ride from Barry Browne.
"It was an exceptional ride from Barry and you'd want to know him. From a neutral point of view at certain stages you'd say he was beaten but he never gives up. He'll keep going at whatever speed he's at," McKiernan said.
Meanwhile, Wexford trainer Paul Nolan continued his fine run of form with Rooster Byron (11/4) picking up the pieces in the Slievenamon Beginners' Chase when leader Veneziano Springs came down at the last, while 12-year-old Analyse That (9/1) landed the Vee Handicap Hurdle for Cork trainer Sean Aherne.