Wednesday 21 November 2018

Mr Adjudicator victorious on hurdles bow at Leopardstown to give Willie Mullins another winner

Trainer Willie Mullins was a winner at Leopardstown. Photo: PA
Trainer Willie Mullins was a winner at Leopardstown. Photo: PA

Mr Adjudicator justified strong market support to make a winning debut over obstacles in the Paddy Power 'Only 363 Days Till Christmas' 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle.

A reasonable horse on the level for Joe Murphy, he was wearing a hood on his first start for Willie Mullins but was sent off the 5-4 favourite.

Paul Townend spotted his opportunity to take up the running when Khuda hit what is normally the second last but ended up being the last as the flight in the straight was omitted due to problems with the sun.

Townend kept his mount on the bridle for as long as possible before scooting clear to beat 50-1 chance Room To Roam by seven and a half lengths.

"He settled great and jumped well for a first run over hurdles and he did everything right. The hood has done the job on him," said Townend.

"I was afraid when they bypassed the first and it was such a long run that he could get keen and I failed to get cover on him down to the first, but he was good."

Gordon Elliott's Tycoon Prince won what could turn out to be a hot little beginners' chase.

Mullins ran Montalbano, who fell at halfway, and the favourite Bunk Off Early, but Townend never appeared totally happy on the latter.

Le Martalin set a strong gallop throughout but it was another Gigginstown runner in Tycoon Prince who quickened up best.

Davy Russell, as is his wont, decided to bide his time and on the long run-in with the last fence omitted, kept the 3-1 shot up to his work to beat Bunk Off Early by six and a half lengths.

Elliott said: "He was a good bumper horse. He had a nice run at Navan the last day and we knew he'd come on a good bit from it.

"It's nice to get a winner here. We were having them everywhere else but if you don't get them here you get forgotten about!

"We'll keep him small and try and find a winners' race for him, then see where we go from there."

Anibale Fly carried a big weight to victory to provide JP McManus with another victory in the Paddy Power Chase.

Tony Martin's seven-year-old was a class act as a novice last season, chasing home Coney Island in the Drinmore in December.

He had apparently lost his way since but had been running over trips short of his optimum and back up to three miles he defied a mark of 148 under Donagh Meyler.

As ever, there were plenty in with chances at the second last as Vieux Morvan led them a merry dance.

When he began to weaken Anibale Fly (14-1) hit the front and was not to be denied.

The Gordon Elliott army chased him home with Ucello Conti second, 4-1 favourite Squouateur third and Potters Point fourth.

Meyler said: "His form last year behind Disko and the like was very good.

"I know he had a lot of weight but class will out and he showed his class.

"One thing he does do is stay and he seemed to relish it."

Martin said: "He wants a proper trip. He's an old-fashioned staying horse and he jumped and galloped.

"This is what you get up everyday for, to have days like this. It doesn't happen too often but when it does it's great. He's always been a very good horse but just luck didn't go his way.

"He was favourite for the Feltham last year, the race Might Bite ran in. I don't know what happened then, whether it was ground or trip or whatever.

"He won well for a competitive handicap. He's after going through the (handicap) roof there now and could be anything."

Carefully Selected (3-1 joint-favourite) ensured the Mullins team won both bumpers run over the first two days of the meeting.

A 100,000 euro purchase after winning a point for Ted Walsh, he took over on entering the straight and beat Mount Pelier easily.

The £300,000 buy Madison To Monroe set out to make all the running under Kate Harrington but faded tamely.

Mullins was claiming a third victory on the Leopardstown card - and a fourth on the day, having struck at Limerick - while son Patrick at least went home happy after falling at the last on Sharjah in the Future Champions Novice Hurdle.

"I have to give him a crack at a winners' bumper rather than go hurdling now and chasing next year," Mullins said of Carefully Selected.

"He could be an Albert Bartlett horse for next year. That's the sort of road I'd be aiming at.

"There were a lot of fancied horses there and he made them look ordinary. He gallops all day and he's not the slowest horse either."

Press Association

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