DANNY ON SONG - There was great success for Danny Mullins up North in Downpatrick last Wednesday as he partnered Pineau De Re to run out an emphatic and landslide 23 length winner of the Ulster Grand National for the Philip Fenton stable. Pineau De Re was always travelling strongly, and looked the likely winner from a long way out. The 13/2 shot took control from the 2nd last fence, and he quickly opened up a convincing lead.
Having safely negotiated the final fence, Pineau De Re stayed on strongly to say every yard of the 3 ½ mile trip to land the €16,000 approx first prize. The Barry Connell owned charged may now be entered at the Galway Plate at the Ballybrit Summer Racing Festival.
It was Danny’s 2nd National success in over 6 months having piloted Faltering Fullback to a 33/1 shock success in the Kerry National in Listowel.
In late January, Danny was confirmed as first choice retained rider to Barry Connell which means he will have plenty of promising rides to look forward to.
Amongst those and definetly the star attraction will be Triumph Hurdle winner Our Conor from the Dessie Hughes stable who was bought by Connell after his Festival success.
The 4-year-old was simply awesome in destroying the field at Cheltenham, and is now 5/1 joint favourite along with this years winner Hurricane Fly for the 2014 Champion Hurdle.
Danny is sure to be aboard Our Conor for the 4-year-old Champion Hurdle at the upcoming Punchestown Festival on Saturday, April 27.
The 20-year-old made his Cheltenhan Festival debut this year, and his best result was for a Barry Connell gelding, when Golantilla ran a cracker to finish 3rd in the Champion Bumper which was won by 25/1 shot Friars Well trained by Danny’s uncle Willie(Mullins) and ridden by Ruby Walsh.
Danny was aboard the Ryanair owned Romanseco in the Irish Grand National on Easter Monday, and the 8-year-old from the Gordon Elliott stable was staying on strongly for a place before partnering company at the final fence.
Thankfully, Danny walked away unscathed.
Meanwhile, Danny’s Dad Tony ended his long winless spell stretching back to last September when Sammy Black landed a deserved victory in Fairyhouse on Easter Sunday.
With Danny onboard the Barry Connell 5-year-old, Sammy Black had been improving with each outing having run very well to be placed twice in Leopardstown behind the Colm Murphy trained Shariyan.
However, he broke his broke his maiden duck when defying favouritism to win the Gleeson Butchers Novice Handicap Hurdle.
Danny had to pull out the stops to emerge victorious by a neck ahead of the Paul Carberry ridden Not for Changing, with the Arthur Moore trained Treat Yourself a further neck back in third.
KILKENNY CASTLE SPRING SERIES - Following last years success, Gowran Athletic Club are organising a series of 3 races in consecutive Sundays.
The first of the three races took place last Sunday with further races on Sunday, April 14 (3km) before the series concludes on Sunday week April 21 (5km). The main idea is to encourage people of all ages to get active. You can walk, jog or even push a buggy.
Registration will take place on the three outside the Castle gates from 10.15am. It costs €5 for adults while it’s €2 for Under-16s or younger, and €10 for a family to enter.
All finishers of 5km event will receive a commemorative medal. For further details you can contact Denis Cormack on 087 6426480 or John on 087 0963285.
DENIED ALL-IRELAND GLORY - Hard luck to JP Treacy and Paul Delahunty who were part of the Kilkenny CBS side that was defeated 1-12 to 1-7 by Dungarvan Colleges in the Masita All-Ireland Senior Colleges Hurling Final last Saturday afternoon in Semple Stadium, Thurles.