Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 18 January 2018

Mullins' Drive shows no sign of stopping

THE incredible winning run of Willie Mullins continued last night at Killarney where his Galway Hurdle hope Drive Time (1/4 favourite) made a successful return to the Flat in the qualified riders' race over 14 furlongs.

The champion trainer's string has been in sparkling form and Drive Time's facile victory saw him record his 12th winner in the last two weeks. His son Patrick -- notching his seventh success from his last 11 rides -- did the steering and asked the seven-year-old to go past Kalellshan in the final furlong, which he did with the minimum of fuss.

The featured Christy McSweeney Memorial Chase went to the well-backed Catcherinscratcher.

Supported into 7/2 from 11/2, the mare took up the running approaching the straight and Henry de Bromhead's charge kept finding more as she held off Definite Class by a length and three-quarters.

De Bromhead completed a double when Ruby Walsh made all aboard Fourth Class (7/2) in the two-mile handicap chase.

Meanwhile, the in-form Joseph O'Brien drew level with Pat Smullen on 37 in the race for the Flat jockeys' title by driving Wonderful (13/8) to a hard-earned victory in the opening fillies' maiden. It was the jockey's ninth winner in the last five days, while it was father Aidan's 12th triumph in the last fortnight.

However, the O'Briens' odds-on favourite Learn was edged out by Tommy Stack's Croi An Or in the conditions race. Wayne Lordan joined O'Brien and Smullen on 37 winners as he got the 9/2 shot up by a head in a driving finish.

Irish Independent

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