Cork: Mullins’ clean sweep of Graded contests
The Willie Mullins juggernaut continued to roll on at Cork, with Felix Yonger, Black Hercules and Vroum Vroum Mag completing a clean sweep of the Graded races on an extremely entertaining card.
Black Hercules was the first to strike on the day, taking his record to two from two over hurdles in the Grade 3 Novice Hurdle. The highly regarded 5yo, a close fourth in last season’s Cheltenham Champion Bumper, had made a winning start over timber at the same track last month and was under no duress to strike here on his first attempt over 3 miles under a front running ride from Paul Townend.
Felix Yonger’s victory in the feature Hilly Way Chase was a lot less straight forward, with the 8yo having to battle gamely on the run in to snatch the race from Mallowney on the line. Ridden by Danny Mullins, last year’s JLT Novices Chase fourth tracked the leaders throughout and had to dig deep into his stamina reserves to just get home by a nose. Days Hotel finished third for Henry de Bromhead and Andrew Lynch.
The hat-trick of Graded wins for Mullins was brought up by the very impressive looking and interestingly named, Vroum Vroum Mag in the Grade 3 Mares Novice Chase. The French import made a winning start for Mullins with an easy victory at Wexford and was again under no pressure to make it two for two, easing clear to score by an eased down 5 lengths.
Mullins would complete an across the card four timer when Livelovelaugh took the bumper at Punchestown under son Patrick.
By Kevin Walsh 7/12/14
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