Mullins seeks Fairyhouse power-play

Willie Mullins looks set to resist the lure of Cheltenham with Annie Power and head instead to Fairyhouse over the Easter period after her victory in the paddypower.com Novice Hurdle at Naas.

Mullins seeks Fairyhouse power-play

Willie Mullins looks set to resist the lure of Cheltenham with Annie Power and head instead to Fairyhouse over the Easter period after her victory in the paddypower.com Novice Hurdle at Naas.

The five-year-old is now unbeaten in three races over jumps to add to her three bumper victories after she took the scalp of the highly-promising Defy Logic.

Tony McCoy tried to dictate matters from the front on the latter, but he was strongly pressed at the business end and his mount had no answer to Annie Power.

Ruby Walsh looked to be going best of all on the 5-2 shot, who shrugged aside Defy Logic at the final flight and quickened away to take Grade Two honours by three and a quarter lengths.

“I didn’t know how good she was and we came here to find out,” said the record-breaking Mullins, who enjoyed a treble on the day.

“She has the size and scope to be anything. She looks like she’ll be a chaser in time and I hope she’ll improve and keep getting stronger. With a summer’s grass she can do nothing but improve.”

Stan James slashed Annie Power to 14-1 from 66-1 for the William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, but Mullins said: “We’ll probably look at the Grade One mares race at Fairyhouse for her.”

McCoy earlier teamed up with Mullins when steering Upsie to victory in the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet 1800 721 821 Maiden Hurdle.

The JP McManus-owned mare was 4-7 to make a winning debut over jumps, but success was not without a scare.

She almost went through the wing after the third-last when hampered and about to be asked for an effort, but she soon recovered to score by three and three-quarter lengths from Aerlite Supreme.

The Mullins treble was completed by Outlander (11-10 favourite), who made it a hat-trick of bumper successes in the Paddy Power Mobile App (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race in the hands of the trainer’s son, Patrick.

Sweeney Tunes (3-1) capitalised on a bad mistake three out by 4-7 favourite Mikael D’Haguenet to lift the Woodlands Park 100 Club Nas Na Riogh Novice Chase.

The Mullins-trained Mikael D’Haguenet looked to be going ominously well when his blunder took him from first to last.

Davy Russell soon set sail for home on the Paul Nolan-trained gelding who defeated Charlie’s Vic by three and a half lengths, with Mikael D’Haguenet rallying to be third.

“It’s nice to win these Grade Two races, but at the end of the day Mikael D’Haguenet looked like he would have sluiced in,” said Nolan.

“He’s in some of the open handicaps (at Cheltenham), but running this close to the Festival is not ideal so we might look at the Irish National instead.”

Russell completed a double with an emphatic victory on the well-backed Mallowney (11-4) in the Paddy Power Mobile App Handicap Hurdle for trainer Tim Doyle.

A costly error at the last by Realt Dubh let in Days Hotel to land the paddypower.com Chase.

Paul Carberry brought Realt Dubh with what look a well-timed run to challenge the long-time leader, but his mount met the final obstacle all wrong.

That left Andrew Lynch on Days Hotel (5-2), trained by Henry de Bromhead, to come home six lengths clear of Realt Dubh.

De Bromhead said: “The Normans Grove at Fairyhouse (April 2) is probably the obvious one now, especially if he gets some ease in the ground.”

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