Monday 18 December 2017

Mullins bandwagon keeps rolling at Sligo

THE Willie Mullins winners' bandwagon yesterday rolled into Sligo where the champion trainer came away with a near 5/1 double.

The trainer's son Patrick was in the plate for this first winner as Local Celebrity (2/1) put in a fluent display of hurdling to take the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Hurdle.

The pair led from flagfall and a particularly good jump at the last enabled them to hold on by a fast-diminishing neck from 6/4 favourite His Excellency.

"He's a fantastic hurdler and his jump at the last probably won it for him," said the winning jockey. "If he jumps fences as well he will be all right. He will probably go over fences sooner rather than later."

The Closutton handler completed his brace when odds-on favourite Dr Machini took the two miles mares maiden hurdle by three lengths in the hands of Andrew Lynch.

A good jump at the last flight enabled the market leader (5/6 favourite) see off Lough Roe Lady before comfortably repelling the late challenge of Shershewill.

The colours of champion owner Michael O'Leary were carried to victory by the Conor O'Dwyer-trained Sorted in the two-mile, two- furlong handicap hurdle.

The 5/1 shot collared the front-running Our Ollie just after the last before going on to score by two and a quarter lengths.

Fresh from his midweek four-timer at Ballinrobe, Paul Carberry landed the opening maiden hurdle aboard Noel Meade's Pat Garrett, which made all the running.

The 20/1 shot jumped well and kept enough in reserve to fend off Roving Lad with favourite Alexander Nevsky weakening back in fourth.

Cullentry Royal (8/13 favourite) made a marked impression when taking the bumper on his debut for Gordon Elliott and Nina Carberry.

The four-year-old son of Royal Applause was tanking along behind the leaders and when Carberry asked him to go on he stretched away from over a furlong out.

Derrylea Girl was the only rival to go in pursuit of the winner, but she was two lengths in arrears at the line.

"He's a nice horse, but still a big baby," Elliott said. "Nina said he was a bit green and idle in front. The horse is for sale."

Irish Independent

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