Mala Beach crashes out as Boston Bob takes advantage
Boston Bob was the main beneficiary of the late fall of Mala Beach in the At The Races Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse yesterday. The Gordon Elliott-trained Mala Beach was sent off the 5-4 favourite in the hands of Davy Russell and he looked the likely winner as he approached the second last in the lead and travelling comfortably.
However, he crashed out at the penultimate obstacle, leaving the Willie Mullins-trained Turban in front, with stablemates Boston Bob and On His Own hot on his heels. Turban was quickly overhauled by his fellow Clostutton inmates, with Ruby Walsh aboard Boston Bob and Patrick Mullins in the plate on On His Own.
That pair settled down to battle it out and while On His Own briefly poked his head in front, Boston Bob battled back to shade it by a head, with Turban eight and a half lengths back in third. Mullins said: "It was a bit fortuitous with Mala Beach falling, but you need luck any day of the week. I'm delighted to get a number back in front of Boston Bob's name and on ground he wouldn't particularly like.
"It was a good run by On His Own and I loved the way he battled back. At his stage in life, he doesn't kill himself, and I'd say Patrick is looking forward to riding him in the National and maybe in the Gold Cup as well. Boston Bob and On His Own are both in the Gold Cup and the National. I'll have to talk to Graham (Wylie), but they could run in both races. Turban was good over that trip and is qualified now for the National. He ran in the Topham last year, and is also on course for the National."
Paddy Power offer 25-1 about Boston Bob for the Crabbie's Grand National, with On His Own a 33-1 shot. The stewards examined the rides of both Walsh and Mullins, with the former cautioned over his use of the whip, while Mullins was banned for three days for not giving On His Own time to respond and using his whip with excessive force.
Salsify moved a step closer to a trip to Cheltenham as he triumphed in the Easter Festival 27th-29th March Hunters Chase. Sent off the 1-2 favourite, Salsify saw off Luska Lad by seven lengths, but still needs to fulfil the qualifying criteria if he is to try for a third win in the St James's Place Foxhunter Chase at the Festival.
Trainer Rodger Sweeney said: "He was injured in 2014 and got injured again at Cheltenham in 2015, but he seems to be back there in a big way. He jumped well, and we'll have to have a look at the rule book now. I think he needs to win a point-to-point to qualify for Cheltenham, so he may go for an open race next weekend. Otherwise, he will stay at home and go for the Tetratema at Gowran."
Newberry New showed determination as he edged out favourite Voix Du Reve to land the Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle. Voix Du Reve was making his debut for Mullins, having previously been trained in France, but the 8-15 chance refused to settle for Walsh and took a keen hold in the early stages.
He still looked to be travelling well enough coming to the final two obstacles and he actually headed Newberry New (7-2) as they jumped the last. However, Jessica Harrington's charge was not going to give up without a fight and he battled back on the inside rail to eventually claim a half-length win, with Tocororo finishing fast to dead heat for second with Voix Du Reve.
Sunday Indo Sport