Twinlight bounces back at Leopardstown
The Willie Mullins trained, Twinlight bounced back to form to land the feature, Grade 1 Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown today.
Ridden by Paul Townend, the 16/1 shot put a poor effort in the Hilly Way Chase at Cork behind him, when getting the better of Hidden Cyclone, who ran another creditable race to finish second.
It has been a mixed few days for champion trainer, Mullins but he was full of praise for the M.L Bloodstock Limited owned winner.
“They went such a gallop today that Paul was on the outside, on his own and I think at about halfway the horse started to enjoy it and if you look at the second fence down the back, he put in as big a jump as I ever saw around here.”
It was Twinlight’s first win at the highest level and bookmakers reacted by shortening him to 25/1 for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.
Henry De Bromhead’s , Sizing John may have been the outsider of the five runners in the Grade 1 Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle, but he made every inch of the running to give jockey Jonathon Burke a first Grade 1 win in the saddle.
Nichols Canyon was sent of the 4/6 favourite but a bad mistake at the third flight gave jockey Ruby Walsh no chance of keeping the partnership in-tact.
At this stage though, Sizing John was in front and the two remaining challengers, Sub Lieutenant and Golantilla wouldn’t be able to get close enough to challenge Sizing John, who ran out an impressive six and a half length winner.
Jockey, Jonathon Burke was delighted to claim his first Grade 1 success and he said, “I’ve had two Grade 2 winners. It’s great to get that first Grade 1. I always held him in high regard from his bumper. He has proved himself at the highest level.”
In the competitive Paddy Power Handicap Chase a patient ride from Denis O’Regan guided Living Next Door to a well-deserved victory, bringing up a double on the day for Tony Martin, O’Regan and owner John Breslin.
The winner always seemed to be travelling the best and crept into the race turning for home. The well supported 7/2 favourite, Foxrock jumped the last in front but O’Regan produced his mount after the final flight before extending to win by a length and three parts with Foxrock grabbing second ahead of Vics Canvas.
Owner, Breslin was in awe of the ride O’Regan gave his charge commenting, “It’s actually unbelievable. He was a bit unlucky in the Troytown. Fair play to Denis he gave him the best ride I’ve seen in a long time. The horse jumps for joy, he’s a great horse.”
Living Next Door was the second part of the Martin and Breslin 230/1 double after Blair Perrone had earlier downed odds-on favourite, Silver Concorde in the Paddy Power Maiden Hurdle, under another ultra-cool Denis O’Regan ride.
The opening three year old maiden hurdle saw Dessie McDonogh unearth another live Triumph Hurdle contender in the Jackie Bolger owned, Theophilus.
Ridden by Danny Mullins, the well-bred Teofilo colt was prominent throughout before setting sail for home on the turn in, on the way to a six and a half-length victory.
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