Allaho wins the Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup

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Willie Mullins completed a Grade 1 treble, and have four winners in total, on Day 2 of Punchestown 2022 as 19,934 patrons attended the Co. Kildare venue.

The Closutton trainer won two Grade 1s yesterday and was dominant this afternoon in the top-level races.

Allaho (6/5f) produced a scintillating performance when winning the Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup this evening. In the colours of Cheveley Park Stud, Paul Townend took the Willie Mullins-trained runner into the lead in the early stages of the race. Though he had the company of Clan Des Obeaux (11/2) for a period of the race, the winner was never seriously challenged as he ran his opposition into submission in the €275,000 race.

Allaho, the Rynair Chase winner at Cheltenham last month, came into the 3-mile race with stamina doubts but they were quickly dispelled as the son of No Risk At All was a 14-length winner ahead of English challenger Clan des Obeaux, with former dual Cheltenham Gold Cup victor, Al Boum Photo (20/1) another length-and-a-half back in third.

The Nice Guy wins Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle

The Grade 1 Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle saw the Willie Mullins pair The Nice Guy (15/8f) and Minella Cocooner battle out the finish in the 2 mile 7 furlong race. In the colours of Malcolm Denmark, The Nice Guy and Paul Townend upheld the Cheltenham Festival form as he again defeated his stable mate, this time by only three-quarters-of-a-length. Despite dictating the fractions from flag fall, the eventual runner-up, Minella Cocooner, gave everything under Danny Mullins at the death but agonizingly failed to better The Nice Guy, who remains unbeaten in five runs.

Facile Vega wins Champion Bumper

Facile Vega (8/15f), winner of the Weatherbys Champion Bumper added the Race & Stay At Punchestown Champion I.N.H. Flat Race to his CV this afternoon as the daughter of Quevega completed a Grade 1 treble for Willie Mullins.

In the hands of the winning handler’s son, Patrick, Facile Vega was made to work hard by his stable companion Redemption Day (10/1) under Jodie Townend. Mullins Jnr and the winner were made to work hard for their victory as the bay ends the season unbeaten after four races. American Mike, runner-up to Facile Vega at Cheltenham, was third today fifteen-and-a-quarter lengths behind the winner.

The opening Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Hurdle Series Final went the way of trainer Henry de Bromhead and jockey Mikie O’Connor. Life In The Park, in the colours of Barry Maloney, took the contest by a length-and-three-quarters ahead of 16/1 Rock Road with 7/2f Thanksforthehelp another three-quarters-of-a-length back in third.

40/1 winner

Ambitious Fellow (40/1) and Sam Ewing got the nod ahead of Rebel Ivy (14/1) in the Connolly’s RED MILLS Irish EBF Auction Hurdle Series Final. Handled by Peter Fahey and ridden by Sam Ewing, the bay gelded son of the late Fame And Glory came late on the outside to deny James Motherway’s runner by a head, with The Road To Fame (33/1) another nine lengths behind in third.

Crosshill (15/2) fought back in the home straight to get the better of both Classic Getaway and English challenger Fils D’oudairies in the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Hurdle. The Nicky Henderson horse looked the likely winner well into the home straight before, first Classical Getaway and then the eventual winner, Crosshill challenged. Under a strong Robbie Power ride, the Ronnie Bartlett-owned son of Sholokhov fought tenaciously to get his head in front at the line. Following an enquiry Fils D’oudairies was promoted to second with Classic Getaway demoted to third.

The OMC Claims Handicap Chase was won by Royal Rendezvous (12/1), giving Willie Mullins a treble on the day and the victorious rider Paul Townend a double.

The last race of the day, the Weatherbys General Stud Book Irish EBF Mares Flat Race was won by The Model Kingdom (9/2) for Noel Meade and Pat Taffee.

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