It was business as usual for Ruby Walsh in Ballinrobe last night as he triumphed on his only ride, Call Me Bubbles, for Willie Mullins, in the Tipperary Water Hurdle.
Ruby excelled on the even-money favourite, which made a potentially costly mistake at the second last flight before rallying to record an ultimately comfortable six-and-a-half lengths win over Dawerann.
Having tracked the leading pair, Call Me Bubbles lost momentum and his place when ‘missing’ the second last. Ruby didn’t panic, however, switched his mount to the outside around the second last bend before launch his challenge. And, in front before the home turn, he soon had the race in safe-keeping before stretching clear to score convincingly.
“He was rated to win and he won,” said Walsh. “It didn’t suit him making the running the last day in Punchestown. He jumped better today although he was awkward at the second last. He’s getting better at it and can always go back to the flat.”
After partnering 30/100 favourite Salhooda to an all-the-way win in the nine-furlong Irish Stallion Farms Fillies Race Pat Smullen was quick to point out: “What most people didn’t notice was that this filly slipped on the first bend at Chester and that put paid to her chance.”
The 98-rated filly needed strong handling from Smullen inside the final furlong to beat Kiss Goodnight by two lengths.
“It wasn’t ideal making the running and she idled and laboured a bit in front,” added Smullen, “but I knew she’d find plenty for a belt.”
Emmet McNamara made most of the running on recent Clonmel winner Little Green in the Ladies Day 25 in the Ladies Day 25th June Handicap and looked likely to triumph, with the chasing favourite Munsaab struggling three furlongs from home.
But Sam James brought the Eoin Doyle-trained maiden Mutiska from well of the pace to lead approaching the furlong pole and score by three lengths.
Joseph O’Brien partnered one of Ballydoyle’s lesser lights, King Of The Romans, to victory in the opening Median Auction Maiden. Having led until near halfway, O’Brien galvanised the Holy Roman Emperor to challenge on the inside turning for home before forging clear.
Gordon Elliott and Davy Condon combined to win the Mulholland Bookmakers Maiden Hurdle with Totally Couture, which got the better of favourite and now 29 race maiden Enchanted Forest by a half-length.
Trainer-rider Denis Hogan, tempted to withdraw Norah Starr when reports of “heavy” ground filtered through yesterday morning, was delighted that he changed his mind after the mare (entered for Punchestown tomorrow) coasted to an easy win in the Supermacs Handicap Hurdle.
And the father and son combination of Val and Tommy O’Brien provided a shock winner of the bumper as 16/1 shot Carrow Queen prevailed in a blanket finish.
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