Mullins lands fastest century of winners

The records continue to tumble for Willie Mullins, who is blazing a trail never seen before in Irish national hunt racing.

The records continue to tumble for Willie Mullins, who is blazing a trail never seen before in Irish national hunt racing.

History was made at Fairyhouse on Saturday when Mullins recorded the fastest century of winners by a trainer in a season as Mozoltov landed the beginners chase.

The victory was part of a three-timer for Mullins, who beat his own record by a couple of days en route to reaching the century mark for the seventh consecutive season.

If he can maintain the same form for the rest of the term a double century is well within his grasp before the curtain comes down on the jumping season at the Punchestown festival.

With Ruby Walsh on duty across the water Paul Townend stepped into the breach and took charge of two of the winners. Davy Russell, in his capacity as retained jockey to the Gigginstown House team, was aboard Mozoltov .

Townend and Mullins came up trumps when Abbyssial captured the opening juvenile hurdle. Sporting the legendary Florida Pearl colours, the beneficial gelding started favourite on what was his first outing in this country.

Given his pedigree, stamina was never going to be a problem. Townend and Abbyssial set off in front and never saw another rival as they passed the post seven and a half lengths to the good.

Mullins and Townend were back in the winners’ enclosure half an hour later when Upazo captured the two mile conditions hurdle in impressive fashion.

Townend was in no hurry to commit the five-year-old but it was clearly evident that he was travelling best of heading to the penultimate flight.

At this point Princeton Plains looked his only danger, but when he came a cropper at the final hurdle it was left to the elder statesman Fosters Cross to follow Upazo home 10 lengths in arrears.

While the winner has been expensive to follow this looked a respectable performance. It will be interesting to see how he fits in among the staying novice hurdlers in the Mullins yard.

Mozoltov was the history-maker for the trainer when he trotted up in the two mile beginners chase under Davy Russell. The betting market suggested that this was a match between Mozoltov and the Tim Doyle runner Mallowney and so it proved as the former took over at the second last fence and landed the spoils by seven and a half lengths from Mallowney.

Long-time leader Mount Colah was a further nine lengths adrift in third place but if his tendency to jump out to his left can be rectified that he looks nailed on to open his chasing account sooner rather than later.

Mullinavat owner/trainer William Delahunty has placed Billybuster to great advantage and the son of Lord Of Appeal looked like he was going to make it three off the reel in the 95-105 handicap hurdle when he led for much of the two mile journey.

Turning to face the judge he was going as good as any, but failed to find as much as Luke’s Benefit and Might Be Magic from the final flight and had to be content with third place.

Quick and accurate at his hurdles, Billybuster set a scorching pace but is now in the grip of the handicapper after two fine victories. Delahunty is adept at finding opportunities for his charge so it is safe to assume that he will be scouring the calendar for a suitable next appearance.

The 7lb claim of Brian Cawley made all the difference to Luke’s Benefit as he touched off the Tom Foley representative Might Be Magic by a whisker.

Trained by Denis Hogan, who certainly gets most out of the horses under his care, the 11-year-old showed plenty of enthusiasm and, according to Hogan, is one of the favourite horses in the yard. His best form has been of soft ground but he handled the better conditions well.

The three mile beginners chase looked an intriguing contest and so it proved as My Murphy finally came good to defeat another Tom Foley runner Followmeuptocarlow.

Given a stylish ride by Robbie Power, the Presenting gelding came for his race at the second last fence but had to undergo a serious examination from Followmeuptocarlow before taking the money by three lengths with a further length back to the third finisher Rouge Angel.

One of the disappointments of the race was Minsk. A high class flat performer when with John Oxx he was expected to be equally effective when purchased by Barry Connell to go jumping. However, the plan never really worked out as he struggled to reach the top flight over hurdles and on this evidence does not look a natural over fences.

It looks as though his present handler Dessie Hughes will have his work cut out to get him to pay his way.

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