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Allaho gets season off to winning start with Grade 1 honours at Punchestown

Willie Mullins saddles first three home in the John Durkan Memorial Chase.

Patrick Mullins clears the last on Allaho on their way to victory.
Patrick Mullins clears the last on Allaho on their way to victory.
Image: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan 

ALLAHO LED HOME a one-two-three for Willie Mullins in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase.

A brilliant winner of last season’s Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, Allaho was a 7-2 shot to make a successful reappearance in a race in which the champion trainer saddled seven of the 10 runners.

Sent straight to the lead by the trainer’s son Patrick Mullins, the Cheveley Park Stud-owned seven-year-old jumped well in the main to keep his rivals at bay.

Janidil emerged as the biggest threat from the home turn, but despite tiring, Allaho dug deep to see off his stablemate’s challenge by two lengths.

Perennial bridesmaid Melon was best of the rest of third, with 7-4 favourite Envoi Allen ultimately disappointing in sixth.

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