Fabulous Fayonagh – further news from the second day of the Punchestown Festival

The superb mare Fayonagh (11/8 Fav) added to her victory in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham when running out a gutsy winner of the RACING POST CHAMPION INH FLAT RACE.
The victory bolstered Gordon Elliott’s championship hopes and the trainer said: “She’s a really good mare. She’s buzzy at home and I don’t gallop her much. I expect we’ll put her away now, give her a nice holiday and go jumping next season. The plan had been to be in the first three at Cheltenham (when she was left at the start) but it didn’t work out. Things went better today.”
Rider Jamie Codd found the mare for owner Maura Gittins and he was in the saddle for this success.
“They say when you have a good mare, you should keep a hold of her and God we are lucky to have this one. Fayonagh is a real gem. She’s exceptional – this is a great era for fillies and she’s one of the best,” said Codd.
“She got a fright at the start in Cheltenham. The boys came around her and bullied her basically. Today was a different story. She is out of Solerina’s pedigree and likes to do her own thing.
“I had the opportunity when I started off to ride all of Willie Mullins’ for three or four years and now I am riding a few for Gordon. You want to be riding good horses and I am delighted to be a part of the whole thing.”
Codd was again on the mark when seeing off Patrick Mullins, his rival for the amateur championship, to win the WEATHERBYS GENERAL STUD BOOK EBF MARES FLAT RACE.
Codd steered Minutestomidnight (11/4 Fav) to come out in front of Mullins’ mount Mystic Theatre. The winner is entered in tomorrow’s Goffs Sale after racing at Punchestown.
A great week continued for owners Alan and Ann Potts along with trainer Colin Tizzard when they had a 1-2 in the GUINNESS HANDICAP CHASE. Sizing Granite (14/1) came home five lengths ahead of stablemate Viconte Du Noyer.
“When Sizing Granite first came to me he just wasn’t going up the gallops. We gave him a wind operation and tried everything then suddenly in the last three weeks he’s been working brilliantly,” said Tizzard. “Sometimes you just don’t know where it has come from.
“Sizing Granite didn’t go a yard at Cheltenham and Viconte Du Noyer bled, but then in the last few weeks they have really picked up. We worked them quite hard as you can’t bring horses here half-cooked. They have just come to themselves.”
CROWD UP
Today’s attendance was 19,366, up from 18,181 on the same day last year.
The 2017 Punchestown Festival takes place from Tuesday, April 25, to Saturday, April 29.
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