His haul included an unusual double in the maiden hurdles, partnering even-money favourite Last Encounter, trained by his mother Mags, to an impressive victory in the Mount Leinster Maiden Hurdle before giving Ballinaboola Prince, trained by his father Tony, a strong ride to beat Grangeclare Rosa narrowly in the Hen& Stag Parties at Wexford Maiden Hurdle.
Last Encounter, which is owned by Ger and Mary Mullins of Duninga Gallops, made virtually all to justify even-money favouritism, stretching clear in the straight to slam Don’t Be Hasty by fifteen lengths.
“He’s a lovely horse, but still a bit of a baby,” explained Mags Mullins. “We’ll take easy steps with him and let him learn as he goes along. I think he’s better going left-handed.”
Danny Mullins was seen at his strongest on Ballinaboola Prince to beat Paul Townend on Grangeclare Rosa by a head in the three-miler, making it four successive winning favourites on the night.
Tony Mullins enthused: “It’s great for his owner, Seamus Tobin, a farmer and neighbour of mine – he’s had horses for 40 years and this is his first winner,” quipping: “I think Ferdy Murphy claimed off his first runner!”
“This horse is a typical Luso – he just keeps going. He’s a big horse, but needs good ground. He might go to Killarney or Galway now.”
Danny Mullins completed a memorable night and the second treble of his career (his first came, as an apprentice, at the Galway festival in 2008) when giving Moonunderwater a determined and energetic ride to land the first division of the Phelim Byrne Seisuir Handicap Hurdle for trainer Dick Donohoe.
A delighted Mullins stated: “It’s great to have a treble. I was in America the first day they raced left-handed. And, to be honest, I didn’t have much luck here going the other way.”
Henry de Bromhead was responsible for a one-two with Beckwith Star and Tisamystery, separated by just a short-head, in the Jog For Jockeys Handicap Chase. Beckwith Star, in the colours of Galway owner Herb Stanley, was 7lb. claimer Adam O’Neill’s first ride for de Bromhead. The winning rider commented: “My horse missed the last two, but the second horse idled on the run-in and gave my fellow a chance. I ride out for Henry most mornings and it’s great to win on my first ride for him.”
Local trainer Paul Nolan struck with chasing debutante I’m All You Need in the opening mares beginners chase, taking command after the third last before staying on to beat Well Tuned by six lengths. She was ridden by Mikey Fogarty, who said: “Jumping won it for her. She was good and brave when I asked her at the second last and, although she had a look at the stands when she turned in, she won well.”
Lilly The Lioness (Mark Enright) proved too strong for odds-on favourite Tempo Mac in the Wellingtonbridge Handicap Hurdle, prompting her trainer Garett Power to explain: “She’s pretty versatile, likes that ground and prefers going left-handed. She’ll go for a chase next and she’ll probably go for the mares handicap hurdle on the Wednesday of Galway.”
Gordon Elliott, trainer of Tempo Mac, also saddled the favourite for the mares bumper, but his Howayadoing came off second best, soundly beaten by locally-trained Little Mitch, ridden by Pat King for Yvonne Latta. Michael Hourigan (junior) nominated Bellewstown as the next port of call for his Keep Swinging following his win in the second division of the 80-95 handicap hurdle, suggesting: “Everything fell right for him today.”
- Jimmy Fortune was taken to hospital for a check-up after a crashing fall in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot.
Fortune was riding Spark Plug when his mount clipped heels with Bronze Angel, being thrown to the ground. Both horse and rider were quickly on their feet. Clerk of the course Chris Stickels said: “Jimmy walked to the ambulance, but is sore and has gone to hospital for a check-up.”