Monday 19 March 2018

Mullins dominates Galway heat

Ruby Walsh brings Valyssa Monterg wide to plunder a big Galway prize
Ruby Walsh brings Valyssa Monterg wide to plunder a big Galway prize

Valyssa Monterg and Argentino came off the reserves' bench to give Willie Mullins a one-two in the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle at Galway.

Argentino led for much of the way and appeared to have seen off his challengers jumping the last but Ruby Walsh, who switched from stablemate Wood Breizh when that one was pulled out, was just getting Valyssa Monterg into top gear.

The 8/1 chance, who was making her handicap debut, swooped down the outside and such was the power in her finish, she had established a two-and-three-quarter-length advantage by the time she crossed the line.

Valyssa Monterg was Mullins' seventh winner of the week, and the champion trainer said: "It was a nice surprise. I was afraid the ground may be too soft but with Ruby coming wide, maybe he found nicer ground.

"Ruby felt she was far happier when he got out of the bunch. When she was on the inside he felt she wasn't racing.

"I was also delighted with Argentino. It was a chance spare ride for Mikey Fogarty and I never saw him jump as well.

"Both of them will improve and we'll look to the next festival, whether that's at Killarney or Listowel.

"Both will also appreciate a longer trip. We could try Valyssa Monterg on the Flat at some stage.

"It's been a fantastic week and way beyond what I had hoped. I was just hoping I might get a winner or two."

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