Punchestown 2017

This one's for you, Dad! Patrick treble gives Willie Mullins edge in trainers' fight

Willie Mullins edges €91,000 in front of rival Gordon Elliott in the trainers’ championship.

Patrick Mullins and trainer Willie Mullins celebrate with the trophy after winning Donall Farmer / INPHO Patrick and Willie Mullins celebrate after winning the Champion Hurdle with Wicklow Brave. Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

BETTER LATE THAN never — and on the penultimate day of the Irish national hunt season, Patrick Mullins landed a massive Grade 1 double to hand dad Willie the slightest lead in the fight for the trainers’ championship.

Patrick scooped the feature on day four of the Punchestown Festival, the Champion Hurdle, making the running from a long way out on 12/1 outsider Wicklow Brave to bag the €147,500 top prize.

And a little more than a half-hour later, he rode 10/1 shot Bacardys to win the €59,000 on offer in the Champion Novice Hurdle, beating the favourite Finian’s Oscar by a short head.

Victory in the two-mile Novice Hurdle was the icing on the cake of a remarkable day for Mullins Jr as he won on Montalbano, though the €15,375 first prize was small fry by comparison to his takings earlier in the day.

Friday’s results leave Willie Mullins just over €91,000 in front of rival Gordon Elliott in the trainers’ standings, a position that seemed highly unlikely at the start of the week when Elliott led by more than €400,000.

Elliott’s only winner of the day came in the Mares Handicap Chase, won by Definite Ruby (7/1) in the hands of Jack Kennedy.

Punchestown – Friday’s results

  • 15.40 - 1. Das Mooser (5/1) 2. Shin A Vee (5/1) 3. Pass The Ball (4/1 2fav)
  • 16.20 - 1. Woodland Opera (11/4 fav) 2. Arbre De Vie (6/1 2fav) 3. Balko Des Flos (7/1)
  • 16.55 - 1. Definite Ruby (7/1) 2. Slowmotion (4/1 fav) 3. Elusive Ivy (7/1) 4. Retour En France (9/2 2fav)
  • 17.30 - 1. Wicklow Brave (12/1) 2. My Tent Or Yours (8/1) 3. Arctic Fire (9/2 2fav)
  • 18.05 - 1. Bacardys (10/1) 2. Finian’s Oscar (13/8 fav) 3. Death Duty (9/2)
  • 18.40 - 1. Balnaslow (4/1 2fav) 2. Mendip Express (10/1) 3. Minella For Value (6/1)
  • 19.10 - 1. Montalbano (11/4 2fav) 2. Riven Light (2/1 fav) 3. Chirico Vallis (14/1)
  • 19.45 - 1. Canardier (8/1) 2. Its All Guesswork (6/1 j2fav) 3. General Consensus (50/1)

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