Pairofbrowneyes scores as Townend has fantastic four
Paul Townend couldn't have written a better script for his return to the saddle as Pairofbrowneyes gave him and trainer Willie Mullins the third leg of a four-timer at Gowran with victory in the Leinster National Handicap Chase.
The 9/2 chance was held up in the early stages by Townend (right) before he made eyecatching headway on the home turn to lead on the wide outside.
Space Cadet tried to give chase, but Pairofbrowneyes jumped the last much the better of the two and kept up the gallop in appalling conditions to score by three-and-three-quarter lengths.
"He did what he's bred to do and we'll look forward to all those long-distance chases with him," said Mullins.
"He's qualified now for the Aintree National and that was the prime reason for running him here. We'll see where we go now. He's in the Irish one, in at Aintree and we could also wait for Punchestown.
"He jumps great, and is a fine big strong staying chaser."
Having already secured the two maiden hurdles on the card with Saglawy (2/5) and Epicuris (3/1), Mullins and Townend capped a fantastic day with Up For Review's bloodless success in the Irish Machinery Auctions Beginners' Chase.
In what was a two-horse race from flag fall, the 1/5 favourite always looked to have the measure of Fire In His Eyes and cantered to a 15-length success.
"It's a nice day for Paul. We'll probably look at that trip for him again and we might look at Fairyhouse," Mullins said. "He goes through that ground but I think he'll handle better ground as well. With his style of running he'd handle better ground and probably a longer trip.
"It's nice to see the horses running like that and the two guys are back now full of confidence. What more could we ask for?"
Mullins made it a five-timer when his son Patrick guided 1/2 favourite Derby to a nine-length victory in the Point-To-Point Flat Race.