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Abacadabras weaves Morgiana magic as Elliott lands big-race Punchestown treble

Abacadabras, Fury Road and Pencilfulloflead make it a day to savour for Gordon Elliott.

Abacadabras helds a narrow advantage at the last before winning the Morgiana Hurdle.
Abacadabras helds a narrow advantage at the last before winning the Morgiana Hurdle.
Image: Niall Carson/PA

ABACADABRAS DENIED WILLIE Mullins a 10th successive win in the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown as he beat Saint Roi by a neck in a thrilling finish.

Narrowly denied in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in March, Gordon Elliott’s Abacadabras was beaten on his return to action at Down Royal while County Hurdle winner Saint Roi had cruised to victory at Tipperary last month.

Sent off the 10-11 favourite, Saint Roi appeared to be going as well as anything turning into the straight, but Mark Walsh was soon struggling for racing room.

Coeur Sublime briefly threatened to break away, only to be reeled in by Jason The Militant before Abacadabras (13-8) hit the front under Jack Kennedy.

Saint Roi got going after the last and was closing all the time, but as Walsh forced his way between the eventual winner and Jason The Militant, the line came too soon with Abadcadabras holding on.

Earlier, Pencilfulloflead overturned the odds-on favourite Latest Exhibition in the Florida Pearl Novice Chase.

The Grade Two event has been won by some smart sorts down the years and Pencilfulloflead was providing Elliott with a fourth success in the previous five seasons.

Pencilfulloflead never ran in graded company while Paul Nolan’s Latest Exhibition was a Grade One winner and narrowly denied at the Cheltenham Festival, but he always looked to be travelling the better of the two.

The two jumped the second last fence together, but Pencilfulloflead (11-2) quickened away for Rachael Blackmore to win by seven lengths.

Bookmakers cut the winner to around 16-1 for the three-mile novice chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

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Elliott and Kennedy teamed up to win the other Grade Two on the card, the 1000th Race Celebration Hurdle, with Fury Road.

Sent off the 4-11 favourite on the back of being beaten in a three-way photo in the Albert Bartlett in March, he nevertheless had to be kept up to his work by Kennedy.

Eventually his stamina kicked in and Fury Road pulled three and a half lengths clear of the Ted Walsh-trained Dewcup.

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