Further news from the opening day of the 2013 Punchestown Festival


The Gordon Elliott-trained Mount Benbulben put in an impressive performance to give jockey Danny Mullins a Grade 1 victory on his 21st birthday when capturing the GROWISE CHAMPION NOVICE CHASE by 22 lengths.

 “We always knew he was a good horse but his jumping has let him down,” said Elliott of the 14/1 winner. “We’ve done all sorts with him and he was down with Con Power yesterday who has done a lot of work with him.

 “The horse has had his critics but he has a real engine and he has really sharpened up today. I don’t know what we’ll do next year but I think he has to go right-handed. We’ll just enjoy today for now.”

Willie Mullins bagged his first winner of the 2013 Punchestown Festival when 7/4 favourite Moyle Park captured the €100,000 GOFFS LAND ROVER BUMPER. The five-year-old, carrying the colours of Susannah Ricci, was having his first start since being sold for £250,000 at the Brightwells January Sale in Cheltenham.

The concluding FINLAY MOTOR GROUP INH FLAT RACE completed a doubles for Elliott and Gigginstown House Stud when Jane Mangan steered Very Wood to a comfortable success.

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