PA Good Land ridden by Michael O'Sullivan wins.
# grade ones
Good Land and El Fabiolo among winners at Leopardstown
Elsewhere, Gala Marceau caused a turn up in the Donohue Marquees Spring Juvenile Hurdle.

GOOD LAND GOT punters at the Dublin Racing Festival off to a flying start when justifying favouritism in the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle.

Barry Connell’s seven-year-old suffered a mishap on his hurdling debut when unseating Michael O’Sullivan at the first obstacle but the pair soon made amends at the big Leopardstown Christmas meeting.

Connell and O’Sullivan had broken their Grade One ducks with Marine Nationale in the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse and with that monkey off their backs headed into the two-mile-six-furlong contest full of confidence.

Sent off the 3-1 favourite on his return to the Dublin track, the only doubt his backers will have had was if Good Land had done too much in the early stages of the race, as it was clear the pace-setting Weveallbeencaught – a rare raider from Britain at this fixture – was not going fast enough for him.

Sent to the front just before the turn for home, he had Sandor Clegane to see off and when he cried enough Absolute Notions began to close, but there was a length and a half between them at the line.

O’Sullivan, unable to claim his 5lb as the race was a Grade One, punched the air in delight and Betfair cut him to 5-1 from 10s for the Ballymore at Cheltenham.

Elsewhere, Gala Marceau caused a turn up in the Donohue Marquees Spring Juvenile Hurdle when turning the tables on her much-vaunted stablemate Lossiemouth. 

Owned by Kenny Alexander of Honeysuckle fame, Gala Marceau finished seven lengths behind Lossiemouth at Christmas and could be backed at 9-2 while Lossiemouth was sent off the red-hot 1-3 favourite.

However, the Willie Mullins-trained pair, although dominating the finish, did not cross the line in the order expected.

Lossiemouth’s race was lost at the third-last when another stablemate, the rank outsider Jourdefete, owned like Lossiemouth by Rich Ricci, made a mistake leaving Lossiemouth nowhere to go.

Paul Townend had to take his medicine on the market leader, briefly dropping back to last before circling the field on the bend.

It was to Lossiemouth’s credit that she still had a chance heading to the last, but the bird had already flown.

Finally, Daryl Jacob gave El Fabiolo a perfect ride to win the Goffs Irish Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown for Willie Mullins.

Mullins held an enviable hand in race with Appreciate It, Dysart Dynamo, Flame Bearer and Saint Roi giving the champion trainer a stranglehold on the Grade One.

The Mullins camp all seemed to side with Appreciate It, with Paul Townend making him his selection after two faultless victories over fences.

But the nine-year-old, who has missed so much time with various injuries, found younger legs too much to handle in a contest that was run at a ferocious pace.


Press Association
Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment

    Leave a commentcancel