Wednesday 12 December 2018

Getabird makes amends for Cheltenham disappointment with thrilling Fairyhouse win

Trainer Willie Mullins. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Trainer Willie Mullins. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Cheltenham Festival flop Getabird made amends in style at Fairyhouse on Monday as he kicked off a Grade Two treble for trainer Willie Mullins in the Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Novice Hurdle.

The six-year-old was a red-hot favourite for the curtain-raising Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Prestbury Park last month, but faded tamely after cutting out much of the running.

He was the even-money favourite to show his true colours in this two-mile Grade Two and duly made light work of a 12-length victory under Paul Townend, with stablemate Draconien in second.

Mullins said of Getabird: "He's back to himself. Paul was brave on him and said he was going to ride him like that.

"He enjoyed himself out in front with his ears pricked all the way. Hopefully he'll go to Punchestown now."

Un De Sceaux was another beaten Festival runner to get back on the winning trail in a dramatic Devenish Chase.

The popular 10-year-old had to make do with the runner-up spot when defending his crown in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham last month, but was a 5-6 favourite for this Grade Two assignment.

Doctor Phoenix loomed up as a big danger at the top of the home straight and looked set to land in front until ploughing through the second-last fence and suffering a heavy fall, leaving Un De Sceaux to come home unchallenged.

Mullins said: "Paul thought he had the race won (when Doctor Phoenix fell). He said he hadn't really gone for him and was just cruising and waiting.

"He jumped super and loves these conditions. He's made of iron this fellow. He pulls out every day and the way he races and trains every day at home, he's as hard as nails

"It's going to be tough for him to go back to Punchestown, but he probably will."

Coquin Mans (7-1) provided the middle leg of the 28-1 hat-trick as he claimed a comfortable five-and-a-half-length success in the Keelings Irish Strawberry Hurdle.

Mullins said: "Coquin Mans was very unlucky (when slipping up) in Clonmel (last time). He was 10 or 15 lengths in front when he fell on his own on the flat.

"He got a little pinprick of a cut on his knee. It looked nothing, but when I sent him down to Fethard Equine (Hospital) they said it had gone right into his joint, so it took a long time to recuperate.

"Obviously it's job well done. He'll go to Punchestown now."

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