In-form Willie Mullins ends year on a high with Punchestown double

In-form Willie Mullins ends year on a high with Punchestown double

In-form Irish champion trainer Willie Mullins signed off for 2016 with a double at Punchestown to make it a remarkable 24 winners since St Stephen's Day.

Having recorded 22 victories from Monday to Thursday, the Clossuton maestro added two more on New Year's Eve, led by the potentially smart Redhotfillypeppers in the Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. Mares (Pro/Am) Flat Race.

A €233,000 Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham May Sale purchase, the Coldunell Limited-owned four-year-old is joint most expensive point-to-point mare ever sold at auction and was much sought after following her victory under Harley Dunne for the Donnchadh Doyle-yard at Necarne less than a fortnight prior to her sale.

The 4-6 favourite was sent straight to the front by David Dunsdon in whose colours she runs and never looked in any danger as she made all with two and three-quarter lengths to spare from Ladysingstheblues.

Redhotfillypeppers is from the family of Mullins' dual Thyestes Chase winner On His Own, who was denied by just a short head in the 2014 running of the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Mullins said: "She a fine strong mare and has a stamina-laden pedigree. She gallops all day and jumps well. I'd say she will go for a winners' bumper and won't go hurdling until next season.

"She was quite green today but as she gets experience racing she'll be fine. She's a chaser in the making.

"David was a Fegentri champion and that's his first winner in Ireland. He doesn't do too much racing these days."

Mullins kicked off the afternoon when Childrens List landed the opening Buy Your 2017 Annual Membership Beginners Chase.

The 2-1 joint-favourite was soon out in front under Ruby Walsh and proved tough in the finish when challenged but fellow market leader Edwulf, who could only reduce the gap to half a length at the line.

Walsh said: "He'd a run under his belt and the step up in trip suited. He jumps well and we know he stays as he'd a couple of good runs in staying handicaps last year."

More in this Section

Limerick's Paul Browne retires from inter-county hurling Limerick's Paul Browne retires from inter-county hurling

From the special one to the smiling one – a look at Jose Mourinho’s unveilingsFrom the special one to the smiling one – a look at Jose Mourinho’s unveilings

Disparities in sports grants allocated to clubs in middle-class and working-class areas Disparities in sports grants allocated to clubs in middle-class and working-class areas

Spurs can win Premier League title next season, says MourinhoSpurs can win Premier League title next season, says Mourinho


Lifestyle

This truck serves as an excellent metaphor for what needs to happen in our education system. A colossal truck needs to barge in front of it.Secret Diary of an Irish Teacher: Time to ditch private schools

Sorting out Cork people for ages...Ask Audrey: Is it still ok to just lob the gob after 10 pints?

Nip those winter ailments in the bud with the help of garden bounty. Fiann Ó Nualláin shows you how.Have a berry merry Christmas with the help of garden bounty

Dig a planting hole around three times the size of its pot and around the same depth, loosening the soil around the hole.Your quick guide to planting trees

More From The Irish Examiner