Ruby hits the magic fifty
Stephen Mullen on Day Three
ing as I’ve been here before twice but haven’t had much luck. In 1990, I had a nice horse in the Supreme Novices’which didn’t win (Art Trail) and I had another a couple of years later in the National Hunt Chase which Willie Mullins rode (Take The Town in 1994), but unfortunately he was unseated so today is the first bit of luck I’ve had.
“The boys kept saying the better the ground, the nicer horse I had so I wasn’t worried about that.He is only a novice but he has plenty of experience.”
1) Mall Dini (Philip Reynolds) Pat Kelly IRE 6-10-11 Davy Russell 14/1 2) Arpege D’alene (Mr & Mrs Paul Barber, Potensis Bloodstock) Paul Nicholls 6-1104 Sean Bowen 14/1 3) If In Doubt (J P McManus) Philip Hobbs 8-11-04 Richard Johnson 10/1 4) Taglietelle (Olduvai Syndicate) Gordon Elliott IRE 7-11-09 Jack Kennedy (3) 14/1
VAUTOUR RIGHT TO SWERVE GOLD CUP
Vautour’s impressive six-length victory in the Ryanair Chase vindicated Willie Mullins’decision to run him in the two and half mile race rather than the longer Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup,his original target.
Mullins said: “He hasn’t been exactly delighting me in his work,and it’s amazing to see him making a performance like that. I think the drying ground has been a huge help to him,and maybe he’s a horse who was just fed up of all that winter ground.
“He had a very hard race in Kempton [when he was second in the King George VI Chase] and it took him ages and ages to get over it.We’ve been trying everything with him for the past three weeks,all sorts of things,and they’ve obviously worked.”
Vautour,who started at even money,was ridden by Ruby Walsh, for whom it was a 51st Festival victory and a sixth of the meeting.
When asked what horse Vautour was working with that made him look unimpressive, Mullins replied:“I must find out! David Casey would tell you. It could have been Limini...but probably Djakadam.”
1 Vautour (FR) Willie Mullins, Ireland 11st 10lb RubyWalsh Evens Fav 2 Valseur Lido (FR) Willie Mullins, Ireland 11st 10lb David Mullins 11/1 3 Road To Riches (IRE) Noel Meade, Ireland 11st 10lb Bryan Cooper 7/1
THISTLE CRACKS IT
Thistlecrack produced a remarkable performance when running away with a strongly-run Ryanair World Hurdle.
The even money favourite was always travelling powerfully under jockey Tom Scudamore and was still on the bridle turning for home, having seen off every one of his rivals bar Alpha Des Obeaux, who was being asked for his effort as the pair hit the home straight.
However, he had no answer to Thistlecrack’s power as the winner surged clear on the run to the last and he powered clear up the hill to record an effortless seven length victory.