Sport Horse Racing

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Willie Mullins' Un De Sceaux bounce back in style in Auteuil

Un De Sceaux
Un De Sceaux

Un De Sceaux ran his rivals ragged as he led all the way to record an impressive victory in the Prix La Barka at Auteuil.

Second to Sprinter Sacre at Cheltenham and Sandown, the eight-year-old was reverting to hurdles at a track at which he has had plenty of success and Ruby Walsh had the Willie Mullins-trained 13-8 favourite in front from flag-fall.

Enjoying himself in front, he always held a handy lead and had enough left in the tank when Le Grand Luce tried to make a late bid.

Alex De Larredya was third, with the Paul Nicholls-trained Ptit Zig the first of the British raiders back in fourth in the Grade Two contest. Nicky Henderson's Simonsig was a big disappointment, finishing last.

Mullins' son and assistant Patrick said: "I'd say softer ground and a step up in trip suited him. Two miles on soft ground - he's just not as quick as Sprinter Sacre.

"Soft ground is the key to him and now that's he settling better, we can probably step him up in trip and it opens more options for next year.

"The French Champion Hurdle is three miles. I don't know if he'll be asked to go over far.

"I'm not sure. We'll bring him home, see how he is and dad will decide then."

Mullins and Walsh were completing a big-race double having taken the Grade Three Prix Questarabad with Triumph Hurdle third Footpad.

The four-year-old just got home by a short neck from the 3-5 favourite Device as he bounced back from a fall at Aintree.

Mullins added: "It was a brilliant ride by Ruby. The horse never went a yard in Aintree and had a bad fall. He nursed him into the race and didn't go for broke until he got over the last. The jockey made the difference.

"A fabulous day after we've had a couple of near misses - Wicklow Brave second in Chester and Shaneshill second in America, so it's fantastic."

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