WAY BACK HOME was the stand out performer at Fairyhouse last Saturday with a very polished performance in the Grade 3 Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle.
The 2/1 fancy is trained by Padraig Roche who is making quite a splash since taking over from his dad Christy, the former flat jockey best known perhaps for his Epsom Derby success on Secreto back in 1984.
Robbie Power had a simple steering job on Way Back Home who doesn’t hold an entry for the Triumph Hurdle so will go instead to Punchestown. That would certainly suit owner Peter Comerford – well known in greyhound racing circles – for it is his local track, and they are fully entitled to bid for Grade One glory there.
Early arrivals saw some lively trading in the betting ring for the opener. Tens Or Better was in demand – 11/10 to 4/5 jolly – while the well fancied Chavi Artist was easy to back at 2/1 and better, and was 11/4 at the off.
In a driving finish Paul Townend and Tens Or Better looked sure to land the odds, but Chavi Artist on the far side rallied gamely for David Mullins to win by a head.
Townend gained compensation when scoring for his boss Willie Mullins on Eight And Bob, the 11/4 market leader in the Tommy Carberry Handicap Hurdle. The Big Bad Bob gelding fairly scooted home but is still unlikely to squeeze into any of the Cheltenham handicaps.
He will certainly be worth keeping an eye on back at Fairyhouse at Easter and later on at the Punchestown Festival where Mullins so often sweeps the boards.
More importantly last Saturday Townend and Mullins were on target with Rathvinden – 9/2 to 100/30 – in the Bobbyjo Chase. This is a traditional Grand National Trial, the winner gets no penalty for this and will be of considerable interest at Aintree off 10 – 10 particularly on good ground or better.
Mullins friendly rival Gordon Elliott had the last word though, with 12/1 shot Graneyhill in the beginners chase, and 2/5 hotpot Fury Road in the concluding bumper.
Another good weekend for Declan’s Irish Racing Service with Sheisdiesel 11/1; Rathvinden 9/2 (w 10/3): Chosen Mate 11/8 (w 9/10) and Cadmium 4/5 (w 4/6) and each way Kilkishen placed at 16/1.
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