/ Racing

Quevega still rules the World

Updated: Friday, 06 May 2011 14:15

Quevega recovered superbly from a blunder at the last to score another big-race success
Quevega recovered superbly from a blunder at the last to score another big-race success

Quevega showed she is the queen of Irish stayers when winning the Ladbrokes.com World Series Hurdle for the second year running at Punchestown.

The Willie Mullins-trained followed up her hat-trick of victories in the Mares' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival with yet another stirring performance as she overcame her stable companion Mourad.

The two fought out the finish and it was Ruby Walsh on Quevega who defeated his sister, Katie, on Mourad in a rousing finish.

Luska Lad set the pace from Rigour Back Bob, who got rid of Andrew McNamara at the fifth flight, after which Carlito Brigante took closer order.

Quevega was never too far off the leaders and responded when asked to go and win her race.

Mourad came from further back and was never able to wear down the 8-11 favourite, who became the first market leader to oblige at the meeting.

Despite making a bad mistake at the last, Quevega still had a length and a quarter to spare over Mourad (11-2) with Carlito Brigante (16-1) a creditable third.

‘She's just so athletic, nine out of 10 horses would have fallen at the last and I can't believe she came back,’ said Mullins.

‘She barely missed a beat, rearranged herself and was galloping again in two strides.

‘She just picked up and beat Mourad, who was flying and has really upped his game.

‘I'm thinking about the French Champion Hurdle for her as a next run - there's huge prize-money out there - but she'll be going the same route next season.

'I'm not tempted to take on Big Buck's and she'll go back to Cheltenham for the Mares' Hurdle.

‘Mourad has had a busier season so we may put him away although there's a chance he might run on the Flat, there's probably a nice handicap in him.

‘But he's definitely one for the World Hurdle next season.’

Mullins completed a double when Kerb Appeal ran out a fortunate winner of the Naas Court Hotel Handicap Hurdle.

Vics Canvas was leading the field when he slipped up on the bend turning for home, but that let in the 14-1 shot, ridden by David Casey, to win by two lengths from Rivage D'Or.

Tornedo Shay (16-1) relished a step up in trip to comfortably take the AON Hurdle.

Thomond O'Mara's charge travelled sweetly for Phillip Enright, who sent him into the lead after the second-last, and he kept on strongly to beat Son Amix by four lengths.

‘It was his first time over two and a half miles. We needed to go that far to get his jumping his order,’ said O'Mara.

‘The Galway Hurdle is at the back of my mind, with the ground being better, and we'll probably go for a Flat campaign with him now.’

The JP McManus-owned Dr Whizz made amends for a fall at Gowran on his previous start when landing the Kildare Post Handicap Chase.

Taking the lead from the pacesetting Echo Bob at the second-last, the Tom Mullins-trained 7-2 joint-favourite pulled away under Tony McCoy to win by nine lengths from Coscorrig.

‘He looked a winner going to the third last at Gowran last time but he had to come here today and prove it,’ said the winning trainer.

Another Jewel (100-30) denied long-time leader Let The Show Begin by a short head in a thrilling finish to the Avon Ri Corporate & Leisure Resort Chase for the La Touche Cup over the banks course.

Captain Chris followed up his Arkle Trophy success with a hard-fought win over Realt Dubh in the Ryanair Novice Chase.

Philip Hobbs' Cheltenham Festival hero was given a fright by Noel Meade's runner, but had enough in the tank to pull away close home to justify odds of 4-6.

Saludos soon chalked up a handy lead but there was drama when Osirixamix fell at the second fence.

Captain Chris joined the pacesetter four out and took a narrow advantage, though Realt Dubh was not far away.

There was still all to play for at the last with Captain Chris, ridden by Richard Johnson, always just having the upper hand and prevailing by a length and a quarter.

Hobbs said: ‘We have always thought two miles was a bit short for him but he did win the Arkle.

‘We have talked about going further but nevertheless he is effective over two miles.

‘Ideally we would like to find a two-and-a-half-mile race somewhere to start him off next season.

‘I haven't got anything obvious, but maybe the Amlin Chase at Ascot which is two mile three might be the place to go, or maybe the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter which is two and a quarter.

‘I suppose we'd be half-thinking the King George but that's three miles and we don't really know if that is the thing to be doing yet.’

The concluding Irish Sun INH Flat Race was then claimed in really impressive fashion by the Jessica Harrington-trained Burn And Turn.