LAURINA obviously added huge spice to the Punchestown meeting on Wednesday, and the Champion Hurdle hopeful proved a tidy and efficient winner.
Smart stablemate Stormy Ireland – now 6/1 for the Mares Hurdle – made sure that the 30/100 favourite got nothing easy, though she still moved through the gears effortlessly for Ruby Walsh when required.
Ruby is not always the easiest to please but he was very happy this time.
“It felt like a race today whereas Sandown was just a canter around.”
“They went a good gallop and she did it really well” Ruby explained.
“She made one mistake when she was perhaps a bit too relaxed.”
“She needed that run and it should leave her spot on” he added.
Laurina is now six from six since joining Mullins, and while Apple’s Jade has looked visually a lot more impressive – and in much harder races – there’s no denying Laurina is a class act who really could be anything.
Mullins might just have pulled a Mares Novice Hurdle rabbit out of the hat with Allez Dance who justified 2/1 favouritism in the opener under Paul Townend.
“She’ll get an entry, she has had her problems and I didn’t think she’d win quite like that” Mullins said.
Noel Meade and jockey Sean Flanagan are on a roll and completed a fine double when Cap York – 13/2 from “tens” – and The Caddy Rose 100/30 both obliged.
The Navan trainer then made it a hat trick on the day when 3/1 fancy Sellarbridge took the concluding bumper.
Mark O’Hare booted him home and Meade said: “We have been struggling with our bumper horses because we have not been able to get them out on grass.”
“He was awful green and you would imagine that he can improve a lot.”
Another good week for Declan’s Irish Racing Service with Smoking Gun 6/1 (won 4/1); The Caddy Rose 5/1 (w 10/3); Duc Des Genievres 5/2 (w 11/10); Darasso 9/4 (w 2/1); Mrs Lovett 15/8; Ucello Conti 6/5 (w 4/7); Real Steel evens (w 10/11) and Monalee evens.
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