Freneys Well wins Irish Field Chase at Punchestown

La Touche Cup runner-up Freneys Well went one better in the Irish Field Chase at Punchestown.

La Touche Cup runner-up Freneys Well went one better in the Irish Field Chase at Punchestown.

Trained by cross-country king Enda Bolger, the 10-year-old had chased home stablemate L'Ami over the Banks on Thursday and was sent off at even-money to get his head in front under Nina Carberry.

Always close to the pace, Freneys Well cruised up to take the lead jumping the second from home and only had to be kept up to his work thereafter to score by three lengths and take this prize for the second year in succession.

Stable companion Drombeag was second, with Lord Nellerie back in third.

Bolger said: "We've had a great week!

"I was slightly worried pulling him out again after running over four miles and two furlongs on Thursday but he has done it easily and Drombeag ran a good race as well.

"We're thinking of going to France as they are running a new cross-country series on May 13.

"The race is over four and a half miles and is worth £112,000 (€128,673).

"He likes good ground and L'Ami may be considered for the race too."

Willie Mullins and Paul Townend continued their sensational week as French import Tarla landed the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association Fillies Scheme European Breeders Fund Mares Hurdle.

The four-year-old was sent off the 13-8 favourite in the hands of Paul Townend for this first start on Irish soil and she was always travelling strongly.

Leblon tried her best to shake off the market leader in the home straight but Tarla always had her measure and was coaxed to the front to score by half a length a shade cosily.

Mullins said: "My trip to Paris paid off. I went to Paris when Punchestown was called off due to frost here earlier in the year and that's when I bought this filly.

"She has shown us plenty at home and she looked good there. We bought her to go novice chasing but we might have to have a rethink after that.

"She may go to France, she's had a nice break since she came to us."

The quicker ground saw Cuan Na Grai bounce right back to form with an impressive performance in the Eventus Marquees Novice Chase.

Paul Nolan's 2006 Galway Hurdle winner had won just once since turning his attentions to fences and went off at 11-2 for this competitive heat.

Sent to the lead before the turn for home by Alain Cawley, Paul Nolan's charge quickly went clear and safely negotiated the last couple of obstacles to beat Mullins' Themoonandsixpence by eight lengths.

Nolan said: "I'm delighted to get him back to winning ways as he has had to come back from a few injuries over the years and we take what we can get with him nowadays.

"The ground was too heavy for him at Fairyhouse the last day and Alain sensibly pulled him up - he is a right good horse on that good ground and the Galway Plate and Hurdle are both options during the summer."

Barizan recorded a richly deserved Grade One success in the Airshow 100 Champion Four Year Old Hurdle.

Having filled the runner-up spot in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham and Aintree's Anniversary 4-Y-O Novices' Hurdle, Evan Williams' youngster was sent off at 4-1 and he adopted his customary trail-blazing tactics.

Favourite Carlito Brigante sat second for much of the contest but could not reel in Barizan and Jason Maguire, who kept up the gallop to score by 12 lengths.

Williams said: "No horse deserves that more than him. To have been second in two Grade Ones is not a nice place to be and he was probably as fresh there today as he has ever been.

"I was disappointed for Paul Moloney not to be riding as he had a bump at Uttoxeter during the week.

"He is such a genuine little horse who tries very hard and he seems to enjoy being in front, so there is no point changing tactics.

"They probably went a bit slow at Aintree and the ground might have been against him at Cheltenham.

"To have three races at Cheltenham, Aintree and here in such a short space of time is very tough and he will have a break now and go for all the top hurdle races next season."

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