Sandsend storms home to star in Mullins' treble
Sandsend was the star of a 12/1 hat-trick for Willie Mullins and jockey Paul Townend with a gutsy display to claim yesterday's Grade Three Limestone Lad Hurdle at Naas.
The five-year-old confirmed the promise of a run at Limerick on his first start for Mullins as he wore down long-time leader Forge Meadow. The latter still held a narrow lead at the final flight but Sandsend (11/4) found more to score by a neck.
"He's settled a good bit since his run in Limerick where he was keen," said Mullins. "Probably dropping back to two miles suited him better as they went a right good gallop."
Sayo was first to strike for the Closutton supremo when the 8/11 favourite got up close home to take the opening maiden hurdle by three-parts of a length from Les Arceaux. "He had a lot of traffic problems and put up an impressive display considering he didn't jump well from the third-last. He'll improve from that," said Mullins.
Booked Ballyward (9/10f) could have booked his place at Cheltenham when completing the treble. Mullins was impressed with the six-year-old, which kept As You Were at bay by half a length in the two-and-a-half-mile maiden hurdle.
"I think that was a hell of a race. I'd be tempted to bring him for either the Ballymore or the Albert Bartlett after that sort of performance," said the trainer.
Noel Meade's Moulin A Vent might go for the four-mile National Hunt Chase after landing the Woodlands Park 100 Club Novice Chase in dramatic fashion.
The 7/2 shot looked set for third place at best coming to the last fence where Jury Duty and Mossbank were locked in battle. However, the latter crashed out, leaving Jury Duty in front, but Moulin A Vent was galvanised by Sean Flanagan to snatch an unlikely four-and-a-half-length victory in this Grade Three.
Rachael Blackmore was seen to good effect again when getting the Mouse Morris' Wishmoor (7/2) home in the novice handicap chase.