Sunday 18 August 2019

Yorkhill soars to flying start over fences

Willie Mullins: Impressed. Photo:Paul Childs/Reuters
Willie Mullins: Impressed. Photo:Paul Childs/Reuters

Yorkhill made a flying start to his career over fences with a bloodless victory at Fairyhouse. The point-to-point and dual bumper winner won his first four starts over hurdles last season including Grade One triumphs in the Tolworth at Sandown, the Neptune at Cheltenham and the Mersey Novices' Hurdle at Aintree.

Despite disappointing on his final start of the campaign at Punchestown, he was unsurprisingly a warm order for his first foray over fences in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners' Chase.

And those who took the prohibitive odds of 1/8 will have had few concerns for the duration of the two-mile contest.

Ruby Walsh kept things simple aboard the Willie-Mullins-trained six-year-old, initially settling his mount in behind the pacesetting Burgas before allowing him to stride on at the head of affairs after the third fence. The front pair soon opened up a significant lead over the rest of the field and though he showed a tendency to go left at his obstacles, Yorkhill was largely assured in the jumping department.

Former stable companion Burgas did his best to make a race of it in the home straight, but Yorkhill was in a different league and pulled 14 lengths clear with the minimum of fuss.

Mullins said: "He has huge scope for jumping and certainly has not lost any of his ability. He's very at home over fences. He went a bit left but that would not worry me too much once they have an engine.

"I hope fences will help him to settle. He took a fairly keen hold but was not rushing his fences. He would have no trouble stepping up in trip."

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