The meeting passed an 8am inspection and David Mullins seized his opportunity on the double, partnering 1/2 favourite Outlander to victory over front-running stable-companion Avant Tout, ridden by his cousin Danny, to complete a double initiated on Liam Burke’s Rebel Turn.
In the Grade 2, rescheduled from Saturday’s card, the two Mullins horses edged ahead of Free Expression going to the second last and, after a good tussle, Outlander prevailed by a length and three-quarters.
The winning rider suggested that Cheltenham’s RSA Chase could be the target for Outlander, successful on his chasing bow at Punchestown last month, before explaining: “He jumps and stays and had to be tough today. But I think he’ll be more effective in a better race on better ground.”
Penalised 5lb. for a win in Tramore two weeks, ago, Rebel Turn, in the colours of the Simply The Best Syndicate, followed-up for David Mullins in the Goggin Buckley Handicap Hurdle.
Liam Burke’s charge was produced with a well-timed challenge to master Monasteradenpauric on the run-in, scoring by a length.
Mullins said: “His jumping wins it for him. I knew I’d win turning into the straight and he was good when he needed to be, at the last.”
Philip Enright shared the riding honours with Mullins, recording a first and last race double on Positive Approach and Rosie Alice.
Positive Approach sparked a double for trainer John Joe Walsh in the David Fitzgerald – Take It Easee Maiden Hurdle, staying on to beat Figurative by a half-length, the pair finishing a long way clear.
“His experience helped – he jumps and staying is his game,” was Walsh’s summing-up of the performance, a comment which he repeated after the Brian O’Connell-ridden Marygale Bridge (16/1) dug deep to hold favourite Myztique by a neck in the Roches Feeds Mares Maiden Hurdle.
He added: “She won a point-to-point bumper in Cork and had a bit of form. Brian gave her a great ride. She loved the ground and stayed at it well. She’ll go handicapping now.”
Enright completed his double when the Charles Byrnes-trained Rosie Alice followed-up her recent maiden success in Tramore with a smooth victory in the concluding rated novice hurdle, proving four lengths superior to front-runner Eiri Na Casca.
“She travelled well in the ground and handled it better than the favourite (Show Court finished last of the four runners),” said Enright. “She’s a nice mare.”
Having his first run for trainer Barry Murphy, Pairofbrowneyes captured the valuable Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Chase, staying on dourly for Mikey Fogarty to deny favourite Killer Crow by four and a quarter lengths.
Successful last time for Lar Byrne in Cork, Pairofbrowneyes was in front from the seventh. His delighted trainer declared: “He was my third runner and my first winner – I have big boots to fill. But it’s a great start.
“He’s a progressive horse and has been working well at home. I hadn’t looked beyond today, so I’ll have to go home and make a plan for him.”
Trainer Jim Culloty enjoyed a welcome change of luck when 5/2 favourite It Came To Pass (Brian Linehan) proved a facile, fifteen lengths winner of the hunters chase.