Duo star with Navan treble

Trainer Willie Mullins and smart conditional rider Paul Townend stole the honours at Navan with a near 35-1 treble through Mikael D’Haguenet, Shakervilz and Jayo.

Trainer Willie Mullins and smart conditional rider Paul Townend stole the honours at Navan with a near 35-1 treble through Mikael D’Haguenet, Shakervilz and Jayo.

Mullins was on hand to see Mikael D’Haguenet burst the bubble of Pandorama with an impressive victory in the Barry & Sandra Kelly Memorial Novice Hurdle before leaving for a trip to America.

The four-year-old bolstered his Cheltenham Festival claims with an effortless reverse of Noel Meade’s charge, who was previously unbeaten over hurdles.

Pandorama quickly assumed control in the Grade One heat, which had attracted just three runners, but Mikael D’Haguenet (3-1) had all bases covered and jumped into a decisive lead after the last.

He was only needed to be kept up to his work to score by seven lengths from the 2-7 favourite.

A delighted Mullins, who also won with Scotsirish at Cork, said: “We came here to see how good this horse was and that was something else, it was a huge performance.

“He likes this type of ground and we have no worries with trip.

“We will enter him for Cheltenham but he is such a big horse I worry about his speed coming down the hill. His next possible target is the Slaney Hurdle at Naas in January.

“Paul Townend gave him a copybook ride – he did everything we told him.”

William Hill and VC Bet were suitably impressive and slashed Mullins’ charge into 6-1 for the Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival.

The 10-1 Stan James offered did not last long and the winner was cut to 7-1, while they pushed out Pandorama to 12s (from 5-1).

Shakervilz struck gold in the Giltspur Scientific Tara Hurdle.

The Jessica Harrington-trained Give It Time was quickly into her stride and appeared to have established an unassailable lead.

But Townend had other ideas aboard the 9-4 joint-favourite and reeled in the leg-weary frontrunner to score by six lengths.

Aitmatov looked ill at ease from the outset but ran on in eyecatching fashion to take second place.

Shakervilz was slashed to 16-1 from 33s for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle with William Hill.

The Mullins/Townend combination put the seal on a red-letter afternoon when Jayo claimed the Garlow Cross Beginners Chase.

Mullins’ five-year-old offered encouragement when second on his chasing bow at Naas and went one better in this two-and-a-half-mile assignment.

The 7-4 favourite scooted clear of Bringbackthebiff on the run-in to seize the day by three lengths.

Despite finishing second on Pandorama and Aitmatov, Paul Carberry managed a short-priced double on the Meade-trained Donnas Palm (1-7) in the 2009 Navan Membership Hurdle and

Lochan Lacha (11-8) in the 2009 Membership “The Ideal Xmas Present” Handicap Hurdle.

The latter’s trainer Tony Martin said: “He ran really well here the last day so we were pleased he won today.

“We’ll probably go handicap chasing with him over three or four miles.”

Dunguib looks a horse with a huge future after a taking display in the Grade Two Glen Dimplex Future Champ NH Flat Race.

Trained by Philip Fenton, the 11-4 second favourite galloped clear of Luska Lad to prevail by 13 lengths under Brian O’Connell.

Stan James were suitably impressed and made Dunguib their 8-1 favourite from 33s for the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival.

Fenton said: “I’m keen to go to Cheltenham with him.”

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