Allaho makes all to take John Durkan honours as Envoi Allen disappoints

Allaho dug deep to see off his stablemate’s challenge by two lengths
Allaho makes all to take John Durkan honours as Envoi Allen disappoints

Allaho, with Patrick Mullins up, jumps the last on their way to winning the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Steeplechase at Punchestown Racecourse in Kildare. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Allaho led home a one-two-three for Willie Mullins in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase.

A brilliant winner of last season’s Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, Allaho was a 7-2 shot to make a successful reappearance in a race in which the champion trainer saddled seven of the 10 runners.

Sent straight to the lead by the trainer’s son Patrick Mullins, the Cheveley Park Stud-owned seven-year-old jumped well in the main to keep his rivals at bay.

Janidil emerged as the biggest threat from the home turn, but despite tiring, Allaho dug deep to see off his stablemate’s challenge by two lengths.

Perennial bridesmaid Melon was best of the rest of third, with 7-4 favourite Envoi Allen ultimately disappointing in sixth.

Mullins said of the winner: “I was delighted how he fought back. When Asterion Forlonge came up alongside him I thought that would take the stuffing out of him. Each challenger that came, he kept pulling it out.

“He raced very lazily today which is not like him and he was going a bit to his left which is not like him, so we will have to look at all that for the future.”

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