Saturday 16 December 2017

Rockyaboya calls the tune for Mullins

Thomas Kelly

THE in-form father and son team of Willie and Patrick Mullins landed yesterday's feature at Limerick but not before a dramatic climax.

Rockyaboya came home a comfortable winner of the Munster Beginners Chase, though the outcome could have been different.

Luddsdenene attempted to make all and was slowly being reeled in by the winner when crashing at the second last -- a fate that also befell Odonimee in third to leave the Mullins hope clear. The chasing debutant (9/4) kept on well to score by 11 lengths from Tico.

"His point-to-point experience came into play," said trainer Mullins afterwards. "We had a fair idea he stays much further than two miles and he'll be going down that route."

Gift Of Dgab produced a superb chasing debut under Davy Russell in the Askeaton Beginners Chase.

After being sent to the front from the off, Tony Martin's even-money favourite never saw another rival on his way to putting in a fine round of jumping before being eased down to win by 17 lengths from The Engineer.

"He was nicer flowing on in front as he's a bit hard to settle and is almost too brave," said Russell.

Tell Dawstown sprang a surprise as he ran out a 20/1 winner of the opening maiden hurdle. Debbie Hartnett's charge stayed on well close to home to edge out Tellherimnothere by just over a length.

Rossa Parks produced an even bigger shock in the mares maiden hurdle. French import Theleze (8/11 favourite) was all the rage beforehand but could only manage third behind Sean Aherne's 25/1 shot, which jumped into the lead at the last and proved a length too strong for longtime leader Sligo Publican.

John Joe Walsh and Philip Enright teamed up to land both divisions of the Greenmount Annual Membership Handicap Hurdle.

The first instalment went the way of Really Unique (6/1), which was produced with three to jump and was always in control before finishing one and a half lengths clear of Stonehatchetmad. The double was completed by 7/1 shot Big Jemmy, which travelled well to lead two out and held Satwa King with a length and quarter in hand.

Habitual front-runner Hidden Present (12/1) galloped his rivals into the ground to take the concluding handicap chase for trainer Barney Jones. Andrew Lynch's mount asserted going to the last, and while hotpot Bundle Of Fun stayed on close home, he could only get within three and a quarter lengths.

Irish Independent

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