Double delight for Mullins
The Paparazzi Kid and Immediate Response continued the startling run of form being enjoyed by Willie Mullins when forming a double for the champion trainer at Limerick.
Mullins is operating at a remarkable strike-rate this season, even for his own exceptionally high standards, and The Paparazzi Kid was recording a well-deserved win following a string of frustrating seconds.
Sent off the 4-9 favourite under Ruby Walsh, who was earlier in the groove on Toye Native (3-1) in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Maiden Hurdle, the son of Milan didn't fully convince with his hurdling technique over the final two flights. But there was no doubting his class as he strode nine lengths clear of Davy From Milan to claim the I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle.
Mullins said: "I'm glad he's got his win after hitting the crossbar. He's able to handle the ground and jumped well enough out of it.
"He'll handle spring ground as well and will go for a winners-of-one before we look at Fairyhouse and Punchestown."
The 10-year-old Immediate Response is unlikely to be seen at any of the major spring festivals but could hardly have been more convincing on his debut over fences in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase.
Patrick Mullins gave the 8-11 favourite a positive ride and his mount responded in kind with a round of foot-perfect jumping, beating Viaduct Joey by 21 lengths after his nearest pursuer Stony Grey Soil fell at the last.
The trainer said: "He'll go for a winners' race somewhere but we won't aim him at anything special."
Paul Townend gave All The Way Home (13-2) a peach of a ride in the www.limerickraces.ie Handicap Hurdle.
Townend made stealthy headway from the rear of the field on Sinead O'Sullivan's mare, bringing her down the centre of the track to tackle long-time leader Goodtime Boy. A fine leap at the last sealed the spoils and she held runner-up Supreme Bob two and a quarter lengths at bay.