Glens Melody profits from Power failure
Glens Melody’s victory in the OLBG Mares Hurdle was greeted by silence by the thousands in attendance at Prestbury Park, after stablemate and red hot favourite, Annie Power came down at the last when looking all over the winner. Annie Power would have been the last leg of many’s Willie Mullins accumulators but punters were left dumbfounded as the brilliant chestnut made a mess of the final flight, leaving Glens Melody and Paul Townend to come out on top in a thrilling finish.
The silence of the masses will have been equaled by the sighs of relief from bookmakers who had taken a battering all day at the hands of the Mullins juggernaut. Annie Power, sent off the 1/2 favourite, took control of the race at the second last and was quickening clear towards the last, with Glens Melody pursuing.
Ultimately, it seemed that she was travelling a little too well, taking off too early at the last and crashing down on her head. Glens Melody was left in front but had to see off a persistent challenge from Polly Peachum to win with the bob of a head. Bitofapuzzle finished back in third.
Thankfully Annie Power and jockey Ruby Walsh were fine in the aftermath, as was L’unique who had been brought down. Townend was delighted with the first day victory but admitted he would have liked it to come in better circumstances.
He said: “It is not the nicest way to win but I think everyone is ok. She is a cracking mare and I am delighted for the owners. To keep her in training and give me the ride, I am delighted. I am a bit in shock to be honest.”
Mullins, who was enjoying his seventh straight victory in the race and a four timer on the day, said: “Annie is up and Ruby is up and I think Alan King’s mare (L’unique) is up as well, so it is good to know that everyone is good. She (Annie Power) was probably going too well. Ruby set her alight going to the last and she just clipped the top of it.
“I am delighted for Fiona (McStay, owner) for keeping her in training and coming back to try and win this race. It has worked out well for them.”
On his four victories on the day, Mullins added: “I haven’t quite gotten around to enjoying it yet. You couldn’t write a script like that. All I knew was that all Spring the horses were doing everything right. We had no sickness, no virus and no bad weather. It was scary how well things were going, so I thought today could be a real good day or a blowout.”
Kevin Walsh / Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Archive
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