Danny Mullins grabbed the headlines on all-chase card in Clonmel, completing a 231-1 double with two beautifully judged rides.
Cluan Dara became the first leg when running out an easy winner of the Cloneen Handicap Chase for trainer John Ryan.
Held up a long way off the pace and brought wide throughout, he moved up stylishly on the turn for home and was in front and seemingly in control of matters when the favourite, Western Boy, unshipped his rider at the second-last. That left him clear to pop the last and ran on to a third career victory.
“Danny gave him a peach of a ride - I’d say there is better ground out wide,” said Ryan.
“Danny is the key, and he knows my horses so well. I said to Danny at the start of the season that he would have to ride ten winners for me to be a reasonable success and that’s his eighth, so he needs two more before the start of May.”
Mullins completed his brace with a similarly stealthy ride aboard Bill Lanigan’s West Is Best in the Rosegreen Handicap Chase. Mark Walsh looked to have timed it well aboard favourite Marshalled, going on between the last two, but Mullins got a great tune out of his mount and swept by on the short run-in to snatch victory.
Avellino had little trouble landing the odds in the first race, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners’ Chase. Dermot McLoughlin’s ten-year-old took a couple of chances along the way, but was brilliant when asked, and won quite as she and rider Robbie Power pleased.
“She’s a grand filly, she won two bumpers, a maiden hurdle and now she has won over fences,” said McLoughlin.
“Robbie just said the ground is very tacky, very holding but she put in a great round of jumping and he had them well covered three out.
“Going forward she’s a nice filly, so once the ground stays safe for her – soft ground that is – we might go and look for black type for her.”