Top duo back in business with four-timer

Any worries regarding the health of Willie Mullins’ horses, following a number of reverses over the previous two racing days, were blown out of the water at Clonmel yesterday.

Mullins combined with Ruby Walsh to land a spectacular four-timer, including the featured Grade 3 Surehaul Mercedes-Benz Novice Hurdle with the rapidly improving Inish Island.

He is now two from three since being transferred to Mullins and his defeat came at the hands of the talented At Fishers Cross at Cheltenham.

Walsh waited out the back for much of the journey, but heading to two out this had developed into a match between the winner and Venture Capital.

It quickly became apparent that Inish Island was travelling by far the stronger and, despite rapping the top of the last, soon eased away to score by two lengths.

Commented Mullins: “There are good prizes at home, but we are considering as well the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham.”

Mullins’ Annie Power kept her unbeaten record intact, it is now five from five, when strolling to victory in the Kilsheelan Mares’ Hurdle.

She jumped quite beautifully, for the most part, made all and her only error came when stepping into the final flight.

She picked up in a flash, however, and cruised clear to beat Dressedtothenines by six and a half lengths.

“She was taking on more experienced mares and did it well”, said Mullins. “She’s entered at Cheltenham, but I think we’ll keep her at home.”

Another Mullins success arrived when Call The Police produced a sparkling round of jumping to take the Derrygarth Chase.

Walsh adopted entirely different tactics here, dropping his charge out at the back of the six-horse field.

Call The Police gradually worked into the race, though, and came there cantering behind Magnanimity heading to the second last.

In front shortly after the obstacle, he found loads for driving to beat Magnanimity by a cosy three and a half lengths.

“He’s improving and has an entry in the Grand National (Aintree)’, said Mullins. “At the same time, he jumps so well, I’d have no hesitation dropping him back to two miles.”

Mullins and Walsh began their day with Sarabad, second three times in-a-row previously, getting it right in the Surehaul Race Day Maiden Hurdle.

Walsh took him straight into the lead and Sarabad clearly had the measure of his main market rival, Lughnasa, when that one departed two out.

Said Mullins: “He’s finally come good, Ruby made it a test of stamina and that seemed to suit. I will now put him out in trip, over two and a half and even three.”

The Mullins-Walsh bandwagon finally came to a halt when Cadspeed, not for the first time, disappointed in the Kilmolash Beginner Chase.

He held every chance early in the straight, but was soon beaten, as Davy Russell powered Tony Martin’s Savello clear of Page Turner.

Picture: Ruby Walsh after riding his fourth winner of the day on Call The Police at Clonmel yesterday. Picture: Healy Racing

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