Wednesday 16 January 2019

'Sun' shines for Mullins as O'Farrell lands double

Jockey Katie O'Farrell. Photo: Sportsfile
Jockey Katie O'Farrell. Photo: Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Champion trainer Willie Mullins threw the kitchen sink at the RYBO Handicap Hurdle at Fairyhouse and got the desired - if unexpected - result with 25/1 outsider Low Sun.

Mullins saddled 10 runners in the €100,000 feature but the Closutton supremo did not exactly fancy the chances of Katie O'Farrell's partner, which nonetheless did the business by two-and-a-quarter lengths from Gordon Elliott's Yaha Fizz.

"It was a grand surprise. He was the second-lightest weight of ours," said the winning trainer.

"He'll mix it during the summer. He'll probably go to Punchestown and then go back on the Flat then. It was a nice pot to land with him, especially as he wasn't one I was planning on keeping."

Mullins made inroads into Elliott's healthy lead in the trainers' title race as he left with a double after Saglawy (13/8 favourite) made most of the running to beat Mitchouka by two-and-a-half lengths in the BoyleSports Juvenile Hurdle. "He's not finished improving yet, hopefully," said winning jockey Paul Townend.

It proved a rather frustrating day for Mullins' main rival. In addition to watching Yaha Fizz and Mitchouka finishing runner-up, the leader in the trainers' battle had two other seconds on the card before landing the bumper. Elliott would have been particularly frustrated by the failure of De Plotting Shed to bounce back from a disappointing run at Cheltenham in the opening novice chase.

The 8/13 favourite looked home for all money jumping the second fence from home. However, not for the first time, he faltered after the final fence and William Durkan's 80/1 outsider Screaming Colours came through to score under Roger Loughran.

Elliott also had to play second fiddle with another market leader, Sunsetstorise (5/2), in the Ratoath Pharmacy Ladies National Handicap Chase as O'Farrell completed a 195/1 double thanks to a three-length success aboard Edward Cawley's Flemenstorm (13/2).

Youcantcallherthat has been a magnificent servant for trainer-jockey Denis Hogan and brought up a hat-trick in the Grade Three John & Chich Fowler Memorial Mares Chase. "She's a dream mare. The ground might be a bit good there but she'd love the ground and the trip in the Galway Plate," said Hogan

Jonathan Moore drove Tom Gibney's Agent Boru home to get the better of 4/1 favourite Speak Easy by three lengths in the valuable EBF Novice Handicap Hurdle Series Final. "We've just been trying to figure him out. I think we're getting the hang of it. He was brilliant," said the trainer.

Jack Kennedy was stood down for the rest of the Fairyhouse card after he suffered a suspected injury to his left arm after being unseated from Monkshood in this contest. The young jockey was taken to hospital for X-rays.

Elliott left it late to claim a winner on the eight-race card as Tintangle gamely justified 3/1 favouritism under Nina Carberry in the Listed mares' bumper.

Irish Independent

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