Mullins hails Ruby return after jockey gets back among winners
Ruby Walsh scored his first win since returning from injury as My Sister Sarah claimed the two-and-a-half-mile maiden hurdle at Punchestown.
Walsh, sidelined since taking a crashing fall at Killarney in August, was having just his third ride back and after striking out on his first couple of attempts on Sunday, the Willie Mullins-trained My Sister Sarah ensured his return to the winner's enclosure.
Sent off the 4/11 favourite, My Sister Sarah came home an easy 10-length winner and while Mullins was thrilled to see his stable jockey back in front, he was equally as enthused by his winner.
The champion trainer said: "It's nice to have Ruby back and we think that mare has a future. She has a lovely pedigree that includes Long Run, so stamina shouldn't be any problem. Hopefully she'll improve her hurdling."
Mullins went on to complete a 5/1 double in the mares' bumper as son Patrick guided Royal Illusion (7/2) to a smooth winning debut from market leader Wait For No One.
Meanwhile, popular veteran Hidden Cyclone has been retired after finishing third to the Francis Casey-trained Eight Til Late (7/2) - ridden by Conor Orr - in the conditions hurdle.
Trained for all of his career by John 'Shark' Hanlon, the 13-year-old won 17 of his 48 races, earning almost €600,000 in the process. He won four times in Grade Two company (twice over hurdles and twice over fences) and finished second four times at the highest level.
"It's great that he's retiring in one piece as he's been a great horse for me and the Mees (owners)," said Hanlon.