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Outlander scores for Willie Mullins
25 Jan 2015 18:06
Having already taken out the Arkle with Un De Sceaux and saddled Hurricane Fly to land a fifth Irish Champion Hurdle, Willie Mullins hit the target once more as Outlander clinched Grade Two honours in the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle.
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Narrowly beaten by the reopposing Martello Tower over three miles at Limerick last month, Outlander (5-1) enjoyed coming back in trip under Paul Townend.
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The seven-year-old cruised through the two-and-a-half-mile contest and was still on the bridle approaching the final flight.
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He soon opened up once given his head, passing the post three and a quarter lengths ahead of Martello Tower to give the champion trainer a fourth successive victory in the race.
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The winner's stablemate Killultagh Vic was third, with No More Heroes disappointing in fifth.
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Mullins said: "He was beaten by a better horse at Limerick. We rode him differently today as he was a bit keen at Christmas and we said we'd settle him in.
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"He's back on track to being the horse we thought he'd be as a triple bumper winner. I told Paul to ride him like a good horse.
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"The Neptune would be my immediate thought. He seems to have plenty of toe and in the Supreme Novices' you need to stay. We'll see over the next few weeks."
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Gladiator King and Prince Of Scars shared the spoils after a thrilling climax to the Donohue Marquees Maiden Hurdle at Leopardstown.
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Tony Martin's Gladiator King was a 2-1 shot in the hands of Tony McCoy, having finished a creditable third behind stable companion Blair Perrone on his hurdling debut at the track over the festive period.
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Carrying the colours of JP McManus, the six-year-old travelled like the winner for much of the two-mile journey and loomed up ominously in the straight.
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However, the Sandra Hughes-trained point-to-point graduate Prince Of Scars stuck to his guns admirably having been ridden positively by Roger Loughran and the two lunged past the line as one.
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It did not take long for the judge to call a dead-heat and although the stewards held an inquiry, the result stood.
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Dalmatia ran a promising race back in third.
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Martin said: "He made a couple of mistakes but he'll learn from it. "It's (dead-heat) better than being beat a head."
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Mark Enright steered Paddy O Dee to a comprehensive victory in the Sandyford Handicap Chase for trainer Philip Rothwell.
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Enright, who has been in the news of late after openly admitting he has been suffering from depression, soon had the 12-1 chance bowling along in front on the back of his third at Punchestown on New Year's Eve.
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He was passed briefly in the back straight, but rallied to regain the lead on the home turn and stuck to his guns after the final fence to seal a three-length victory.
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Rafi De Triana was best of the rest in second.
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Enright said: "My battle with depression has been well documented recently. I'd like to thank my friends and family and Dr (Adrian) McGoldrick for all their support. I'm glad that I've got the story out there, and hopefully it can help anyone else that is struggling.
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"Talking is the answer. I'm enjoying this (win) where a few months ago I wouldn't have."
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The victory was a relief for Rothwell, his first winner in nine months.
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"His owners Oliver and Marie Barden have been so supportive. I've had a hellish season with an awful lot of placed horses. He's had a wind operation which has been a big success," said the trainer.
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