WILLIE MULLINS’ uncannny ability to improve horses dramatically after they arrive from other yards was again illustrated at Cork last night when De Senectute won the Mallow Print Handicap Hurdle with embarrassing ease.
She had never previously been successful, until having her first outing for Mullins on the flat at Ballinrobe last month, striding home nine lengths to the good.
The handicapper’s retribution was swift and the daughter of In The Wings went up 24lbs for her audacity.
So, Mullins then turned her attentions to flights and thus she arrived for this off a paltry mark of 84.
Put in at 4-5, De Senectute hardened to 4-7 and it would have taken a miracle to save the layers.
She was running away up the straight, was allowed lead by Paul Townend going to the last and scored with any amount in hand by an unflattering four and a half lengths.
It is now the National Hunt handicapper’s turn to reassess her and there seems little doubt he will not be found wanting.
Said Mullins: “She can run at Killarney next week under a 6lbs penalty and that might be the thing to do. The mare will run on the flat at Galway.”
Mullins completed a double when his newcomer, Johnny McGeeney, won the Corkman Bumper by an easy nine lengths, after Patrick Mullins had sent him ahead over a furlong down.
Said Mullins senior: “That’s a nice surprise, all the talk beforehand seemed to indicate this was a goodish race.
“He is very free in his homework and I didn’t think would stay. On that evidence, he will now have to go for a winners’ bumper.”
The Last Derby, absent since last November when pulled up at Newcastle, stripped fit and well to land the corkracecourse.ie Hurdle.
This developed into a dogfight between the winner and the flattering Eagle’s Pass, with The Last Derby showing much the greater resolution for Barry Geraghty when the chips were down.
Trainer, Eoin Griffin, reported: “He’s a little bit fitter than I thought, I’d have been happy with a good run.
“He pulled a muscle behind at Newcastle and was off for a period. We have the Galway Plate in mind and, after that, I expect Barry will ride him.”
The hitherto frustrating Salesin put it all together with a clear-cut succcess in the www.corkracecourse.ie Maiden Hurdle.
Trained by ‘Boots’ Madden and partnered by his son, ‘Slippers’, Salesin made all, shooting clear between the last two flights to score by 13 lengths.
Commented trainer-Madden: “It’s great he’s won, but I don’t think is good enough to go to Galway. It might be a novice chase next.”
Conor O’Dwyer’s Nodouraboura put up a decent performance to win the JMR Tiles Maiden Hurdle, under a confident Katie Walsh drive.
She gradually worked him into the contest and Nodouraboura was in complete control on the run-in, despite guessing at the last.
O’Dwyer wasn’t at the meeting, so plans are on hold, but this certainly looks a horse with a future, on the basis that he handled the rain-softened surface really well and, tackling three miles for the first time, got the trip without the slightest trouble.
Des Kenneally, who trains four horses at Kilworth, Co Cork and has held a licence for three years, enjoyed his second success when Letterofapproval won the corkracecourse.ie Bumper. His first winner came on this track with Collou two years ago.
Letterofapproval swept on two furlongs from home to win by six lengths, in the hands of Colin Motherway.
Commented Kenneally: “He will probably go hurdling now, I was worried about the ground, this is a summer horse.”
Keith Donoghue was seen to advantage when giving the Matthieu Palussiere-trained Fine Call an excellent drive in the Dermot Casey Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.
He powered the daughter of Milan ahead over three out and saved plenty to beat Mullagh Abu by a length and three parts.
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