Monday 25 March 2019

Mullins hoping Fabulous Saga can repeat stunning Cork run

Trainer Willie Mullins. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Trainer Willie Mullins. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Brian Sheerin

Fabulous Saga's 70-length demolition of a decent Grade Three field at Cork, on a day where the officials at the track were forced to abandon their last two races due to safety concerns after some unrelenting weather, will go down as one of the most impressive and equally perplexing performances of the year.

The Willie Mullins-trained gelding is clearly a talented sort, but such an exaggerated winning margin suggests he was the only horse in the field to handle such gruelling conditions while his rivals floundered on such terrain.

Danny Mullins was afforded the luxury of easing his mount down to a walk when passing the winning line earlier this month, but can be expected to face a sterner test in the feature Grade Two Guinness Novice Hurdle at Limerick today.

The champion handler is also represented by Ainsi Va La Vie in the five-runner contest.

An impressive winner of a 2m7f maiden hurdle at Thurles last month, the Supreme Racing Club-owned mare will be partnered by Brian Hayes.

Speaking about his duo, Mullins said: "Fabulous Saga was a revelation at Cork and if that run hasn't taken too much out of him he should be hard to beat."

He added: "Ainsi Va La Vie didn't seem to handle the track at Galway first time over hurdles but she won very well at Thurles and comes here in good form.

"She is getting weight off Fabulous Saga and is definitely in with a chance."

On the receiving end of that 70-length thumping at Cork was Gordon Elliott's Burren Life, who takes his chance again alongside the stable's Delta Work.

Elliott said: "Burren Life was well behind Fabulous Saga the last day but he's in good form and he should run his race.

"But, to be fair, I'd say Delta Work is the pick of our two runners in it. He is fit and well and I'd say the step up in trip will suit him."


The field is completed by Noel Meade's Minella Fair, an impressive winner of a Punchestown maiden hurdle over 2m6f last time and a winner of Limerick bumper last Christmas. Meade said: "He's in good form and we're hoping that he gets the trip."

Elsewhere on the card, Whistle Dixie could be hard to beat in the mares beginners chase (1.0) while Fiddlers Bow should be on the scene in the 2m6f novice chase (1.35).

West Coast Time, a good bumper horse for Joseph O'Brien last season, is also very interesting in the penultimate handicap hurdle (3.15) under Ryan Treacy.

Irish Independent

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