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Elliott jumping for joy after Myztique completes century

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Trainer Gordon Elliott has recorded 100 National Hunt winners in a season for the first time. Photo: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

Trainer Gordon Elliott has recorded 100 National Hunt winners in a season for the first time. Photo: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

Trainer Gordon Elliott has recorded 100 National Hunt winners in a season for the first time. Photo: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

Gordon Elliott notched his 100th winner of the season as Myztique landed the Mares Flat Race at Fairyhouse.

Elliott, who counts Grade One successes with Don Cossack and Clarcam among his tally this term, appeared to have lost his chance of reaching the landmark when odds-on favourites Altiepix and Balbir Du Mathan were both beaten.

However, Myztique (5/1) stepped up to the mark in the closing event, under Nina Carberry. Myztique collared the gallant Ma Garrett deep inside the final furlong and held the fast-finishing Kate Appleby Shoes to score by a length and a quarter.

"It's great to get 100 winners for the season. I've had 100 before between jumps and Flat but this is the first time I've had 100 National Hunt winners. I've a nice bunch of horses," Elliott said. "I suppose the highlight has been the two Grade One winners, but hopefully the real highlight is in front of us (Cheltenham)!

"This is a nice little mare. She Could be one for the bumper at Aintree. I was very worried about the tacky ground but she stayed going well."

Thunder And Roses opened his account over fences in good style to formed part of a double for Bryan Cooper.

Sandra Hughes' 138-rated chaser atoned for his course-and-distance mishap last month when he was bang in contention before coming to grief two out.

The 15/8 shot ran out a ready 22-length winner of the Beginners Chase, in which one too many jumping errors put paid to odds-on favourite Balbir Du Mathan's chance.

Hughes said of her seven-year-old: "That's good. He deserves that. He had some very good runs without winning, and is an out-and-out stayer.

"He has the option of the four-miler at Cheltenham but we may train him for the Irish National. He's probably an Irish National horse and I think Gigginstown have another one for the four-miler."

Paul Nolan looks to have a smart horse in Fine Theatre (20/1), which made a deep impression in Next Racing At Fairyhouse Maiden Hurdle.

A half-brother to Nolan's former top-class chaser Joncol, the son of King's Theatre travelled all over the well-fancied Altiepix between the final two flights and he quickened clear under Mikey Fogarty.

Nolan said: "You can't beat the breeding. For a King's Theatre he handled the ground very well and he jumps better than (half-brother) Fine Article.

"He jumped very well for a horse first time with no point-to-point experience. He looks like a nice horse for the boys again, and Mikey was very impressed with him."

Lilshane (20/1) broke his hurdling duck at the sixth time of asking and caused something of an upset for owner/trainer Thomas O'Connor in the Sponsor A Race At Fairyhouse Handicap Hurdle.

Aunt Nora (9/2) made virtually all in the opening Mares Maiden Hurdle, while there were also wins for Old Time Melody (10/1), which completed Cooper's double, and Ardmillan (8/1).

Irish Independent