Ruby Walsh warmed-up for the revamped two-day Punchestown meeting, which opens this evening, by registering a fine treble on Back To Balloo, Terminal and Devil’s Elbow on Bank Holiday Monday in Down Royal.
Highlight of the treble was odds-on favourite Terminal’s all-the-way win in the featured Bet With The Tote Hurdle, a significant improvement on a below par effort at the Punchestown Festival.
Tackled by Beachdale Lad from the second last, the Willie Mullins-trained five-year-old ploughed through the rain-softened ground to triumph by three lengths.
Walsh had started the day by guiding the Colin McBratney-trained Back To Balloo to victory over Johannisberger in the opening maiden hurdle.
The six-year-old will be kept going through the summer.
Ruby’s trainer-father Ted provided the third leg of the treble in the shape of chasing debutant Devil’s Elbow, which survived a mistake at half-way before coming through with a perfectly-timed challenge to get the better of front-running El Fontan in the Sean Graham Bookmakers Beginners Chase.
Trainer Liam Lennon will consider a crack at the Galway plate for Tammy’s Hill in the wake of his odds-on success over Supreme Doc in the Newmac Contracts Ltd. Hunters Chase.
The progressive seven-year-old was ridden by James Smyth, who picked-up a two-day ban for unnecessary use of his whip when having the race in safe-keeping.
Better known as a chaser, the Roy Wilson-trained Flemross returned after a length break to land the Daily Mirror Handicap Hurdle at the expense of the gambled-on Sir Ector, whose rider Robbie Colgan was banned for two days for excessive whip use.
Declan Lavery won his second bumper in 24 hours on board Brian Hamilton’s Honey Bach in the finale while Shane Crimin registered his first win over fences when Any Bets, trained by Ollie McKiernan, made all in the Daily Mirror Handicap Chase.
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