CHAMPION trainer Willie Mullins enjoyed mixed luck with two odds-on favourites at Fairyhouse yesterday, landing the bumper with 8/15 shot Paul Kristian.
Formerly trained by Liam Burke and a controversial horse in the past, Paul Kristian made a winning debut for Mullins when landing the odds in the Course Signage Flat Race, coasting through under an ultra-confident Patrick Mullins to master Cootamundra inside the final furlong.
Winning trainer Mullins said: “He’s the first horse I’ve trained for his English owner, Derrick Mossop. He’s had his share of problems but is a nice prospect. He should improve from today’s run and will go for a winners’ bumper.”
Earlier, Mullins was out of luck with another odds-on shot Cadspeed, a beaten favourite for a third time over hurdles in the Christmas Party At Fairyhouse Maiden Hurdle. Ridden by Paul Townend, Cadspeed (4/9) made a costly mistake at the final flight, when looking the likely winner and, despite rallying, went down by a head to Mick The Tooth, another winner at Fairyhouse for County Wexfrod handler John Berry and Robbie Moran.
Berry commented: “He’s been a bit unlucky, but isn’t a bad horse. I’ll look for a ‘winners of one’ for him over Christmas. It’s a bit of a family success, because he was bred and is owned by my brother Mick.”
Another trainer enjoying notable success at Fairyhouse is Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork-based Terence O’Brien who triumphed with morning gamble Castle Anshan in the opening Fairyhouse Membership 2010 Maiden Hurdle.
Owned, trained and bred by O’Brien, Castle Anshan edged ahead before the home-turn and stayed on to beat Cool Dude Luke and Drive On Regardless, providing his trainer with a third win at Fairyhouse this season.
The Liam Burke-trained favourite Mickey Blue Eyes, a morning and on-course gamble - sent off a strong 6/4 shot - flopped and, having been pulled up early in the straight, was found to have burst a blood vessel.
Denis Cullen, who recently took over the licence from his father-in-law Michael O’Brien, registered his third win in his new role when Whosaidso, partnered by Andrew Lynch, captured the New Year’s Day At Fairyhouse Handicap Hurdle.
Having seen Lynch’s mount deny John Berry a double with Artic Island, Cullen commented: “I’m delighted with that. Things are going pretty well at the moment. We’ll look for another similar handicap for him over Christmas or the New Year.”
Florimund triumphed for the Butler family fro Piltown, Co. Kilkenny, in the Bobbyjo Bistro Handicap Hurdle, the Sadler’s Wells gelding staying on strongly to beat Macidoni by five and a half lengths. The winner is trained by Michael Butler, who admitted being worried about the testing ground, for his daughter Eileen and was ridden by his son Mickey.
Shane Kelly, who is based close to Kilbeggan, enjoyed a welcome change of luck when L’Oiseau de Feu, ridden by Shane Walsh, landed the www.fairyhouseracecourse.ie at the expense of Knocklayde Euro.
Kelly commented: “He was rated in the eighties as a two-year-old in England and would appreciate better ground. But he’s a fair horse and this win was badly needed. I was injured for a while myself, and this was our first winner in a while.”
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