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Ruby Walsh starts jumps season with Kilbeggan win

Updated: Friday, 03 May 2013 20:53 | Comments

Ruby Walsh won on Willie Mullins' French import Alelchi Inois
Ruby Walsh won on Willie Mullins' French import Alelchi Inois

Ruby Walsh had just the one ride at Kilbeggan and got off the mark for the new jumps season when Willie Mullins' French import Alelchi Inois obliged with the minimum of fuss.

Sent off the evens favourite after squeezing into the Kilbeggan Maiden Hurdle as a reserve, the five-year-old showed no sign of rustiness on his return from a 527-day lay-off.

In front three out, Walsh had the luxury of a look over his shoulder for any sign of danger and must have liked what he saw before keeping Alelchi Inois up to his work to beat Dancing Roe by three and a half lengths.

Sean O'Brien completed the full set with Caoimhe's Delight, who supplemented victories in a point-to-point, a bumper and over hurdles by taking the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Beginners Chase.

Always prominent in the hands of Adrian Heskin, the 9-4 favourite jumped ahead two out and forged clear before being kept going to beat Pipers Glory by four and a half lengths.

Brian Hamilton's Wither Hills (6-1 co-favourite) was another returning from a lay-off, in his case over a year, and led just about all the way under Liam McKenna in the Moate Handicap Hurdle, holding off Never A Secret by three-quarters of a length.

Mark McNiff's point-to-point winner Seskinane was sent off the 2-1 favourite for the Follow Kilbeggan On Facebook Maiden Hurdle and won with some authority under Derek Fox, skipping away from long-time leader Akatara to score by six lengths.

Conor Murphy jumped Dusty Sheehy's Dante Anna into the lead five out in the Greville Arms Hotel Handicap Hurdle and the 11-1 shot soon had everything bar Whiskey And Red toiling, with even that one unable to raise a telling challenge and finishing nine lengths adrift.

The best finish came in the Sean Hughes Memorial Mullingar Park Hotel Handicap Chase when Count Salazar's all-the-way effort was foiled in the shadow of the post as he was grabbed by Captain Luke and then by the neck winner, Tim Carroll on Prince Of Forwards (16-1).

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