She jumped for fun in front and already had well-backed favourite Raptor’s measure when that one blundered badly at the second last.
Commented Mangan senior: “She’s a good long-distance mare and, with a bit of luck, there’s a big chase in her. She loves it here and heavy ground is the key.”
Willie Mullins trains Raptor and, long odds-on Immediate Response later in the day aside, it was a disastrous afternoon for him.
His Gagewell Flyer went off at 4-7 in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Beginners Chase, but proved no match for Colm Murphy’s 20-1 shot, Shootin The Breeze.
Ridden by Andrew McNamara and carrying the colours made famous by The Listener, the winner powered ahead at the final fence to easily beat Gagewell Flyer, who found little for Ruby Walsh pressure.
Reported McNamara: “He is still learning, but will improve and is a lovely horse.”
Another Mullins hot-pot to bite the dust was Dare To Doubt in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Mares’ Beginners Chase.
She was taken in the ring from 11-8 to evens, but was always fighting a losing battle in the last half mile.
Victory went to Carrigeen Lechuga, ridden by Liz Lalor who was having her first ride back since breaking a vertebra in her neck.
The winner forged to the front coming away from the second last to beat the somewhat unlucky in running, Definite Class, who made a bad mistake at that obstacle.
Lalor’s father, Dick, trains the winner and said: “It’s a bit of a surprise, she hates that tacky ground. She will come back here in a couple of weeks for a three mile mares’ novice chase.”
Punters badly in need of help got some when Eugene O’Sullivan’s Lamb Or Cod justified favouritism in the thurles.ie Maiden Hurdle.
Given a powerful drive by Alan Crowe, he had to dig deep from the back of the final flight to get the best of the battle with Inis Meain and Mullins’ Bold Banks.
Said O’Sullivan: “He has turned inside out since going over hurdles. He will probably now go for a novice, but is a chaser in the making and will come back next season in a beginners chase at Listowel.”
Mullins was out of luck one more time when Perfect Gentleman failed to get to grips with the enterprisingly handled Mini Vic in the INH Stallion Owners’ EBF Maiden Hurdle.
Declan Bates set Mini Vic alight early on the last circuit and she answered every call, as the flattering Perfect Gentlemen just couldn’t reel her in.
The daughter of Old Vic is trained by Liz Doyle, who reported: “I’m delighted, if she had been third I’d be thrilled. She is so, so tough and, maybe, a handicap will be next.”
On a day which promised so much and delivered so little, it finally came right for the Mullins camp when Immediate Response took the Tote Trifecta Rollover Handicap Hurdle by 11 lengths.
Raised 17lbs for an easy success at Clonmel a week earlier, the nine-year-old was able to run here under just a 4lbs penalty.
Ridden by Patrick Mullins, and owned by the Kates Monkeys Syndicate, consisting of student pals of his, Immediate Response made all, lengthening clear in the straight.
“We needed a stone in hand to have a winner,” quipped Mullins senior. “He will go for another handicap.”
The Bumper, confined to newcomers, was won in good style Oliver McKiernan’s Another Challenge. Ridden by Roger Quinlan, the son of Milan made every yard of the running to score with plenty in hand.