Douvan imperious

The brilliant Douvan put in a superb display to justify 2/9 favouritism when winning the Grade 1 Ryanair Novice Chase easily by 11 lengths under Ruby Walsh. The six-year-old was completing a rare Cheltenham/Aintree/Punchestown three-timer and trainer Willie Mullins is already looking forward to next season. “We’ve seen a few not able to do the three Festivals this week so that was great,” said Mullins. “He got close at one or two but he jumped fantastically and did it like a fresh horse. You wouldn’t…

Greatrex on Track

A long-term plan by trainer Warren Greatrex came to fruition when the front-running One Track Mind (10/1) came out two and a quarter lengths clear of Jennies Jewel under Gavin Sheehan in the feature Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle over three miles. “This has been the plan all season and we just brought along the horse slowly,” said Greatrex. “It was one of those surreal feelings watching the race as I was happy the whole way through. We broke this horse and have had…

Grade 1 first for Katie Walsh

Katie Walsh enjoyed her first Grade 1 success when steering Blow By Blow (14/1) to win the G1 INH Flat Race for trainer Willie Mullins by three and three-quarter lengths from Moon Racer. Walsh said: “I was meant to ride Battleford but he was pulled out this morning and I was half-tempted to ride Very Much So, but Willie said ‘no Blow By Blow’ and I think he knows better than anyone. I am delighted just to be on the right one. “Blow By…

Lough takes Gold

John Kiely celebrated the biggest win of his long training career when Carliingford Lough finished with a wet sail to take the G1 Bibby Financial Services Ireland Punchestown Gold Cup under Barry Geraghty at 12/1. The Colin Tizzard-trained Cue Card, sent off 4/6 favourite, could finish only fourth after Carlingford Lough scored by four and a half lengths, with Djakadam in second. “I’ve been coming to Punchestown since 1948, when I was here as a child, and this is a never-again experience in my life….

Zabana on top in Growise Champion Novice Chase

Andrew Lynch’s stable star Zabana (7/2), who had an unfortuitous trip to last month’s Cheltenham Festival, gained compensation when winning the Grade 1 Growise Champion Novice Chase at Punchestown on Tuesday for owner Chris Jones. The seven-year-old whipped round at the start and unseated Davy Russell when well-fancied for the JLT Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham and Lynch was delighted with this victory. “Cheltenham was going to be his day and it didn’t work out. But it’s great to come here and do that,” said Lynch….

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