Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Arvika bounces back in style

Arvika Ligeonniere, ridden by Ruby Walsh, wins at Punchestown
Arvika Ligeonniere, ridden by Ruby Walsh, wins at Punchestown

Following earlier wins for Quevega and Twinlight, Arvika Ligeonniere extended the dominance of Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh on day three of the Punchestown Festival when bouncing back to form in the Ryanair Novice Chase.

The eight-year-old had failed to complete the course on his last two starts after winning two Grade Ones earlier in the campaign.

The 7-2 favourite was always prominent as Special Tiara took them along before taking the lead before the third-last and going on to score by nine and a half lengths from Oscars Well. Special Tiara was third.

Mullins said: "Soft ground and a right-handed track are two important ingredients for him, and two miles is probably his trip.

"Ruby got him to settle today. He's over 17 hands and must be the biggest horse in our yard. He's just so strong, he's improving and we will probably stay at home with him next season."

The red-hot duo went on to complete a four-timer when Upsie (9-10) beat stablemate Twigline in the Orchid Transport Mares Novice Hurdle, while it soon became a famous five for Mullins, who claimed the concluding Kildare Post INH Flat Race with Turnandgo (9-4 favourite) under his son, Patrick.

Mullins said of Upsie: "She's got a good engine but we'll have to brush up her jumping. When she learns how to jump she'll be a fair mare.

"She got into a lot of trouble at Naas and did well to win. Nothing really went right for her in Naas but she still won. Her homework is great."

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