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Team Mullins score a memorable double at Downpatrick

By Ron McKnight

Published 10/08/2015

Winning combination: Willie Mullins’ Westerner Lady, ridden by Paul Townend, on the way to winning the Toals Maiden Hurdle at Downpatrick, completing a double for trainer and jockey
Winning combination: Willie Mullins’ Westerner Lady, ridden by Paul Townend, on the way to winning the Toals Maiden Hurdle at Downpatrick, completing a double for trainer and jockey

Team Mullins enjoyed a double at Downpatrick yesterday, while trainer Gordon Elliott reached 12 for the season at the course.

Racing got under way with a reversal for favourite backers when 1/3 shot Listen Dear was beaten by the locally-trained Itshard To No in a driving finish.

The Willie Mullins trained favourite attempted her front running tactics again at the course and for most of the race appeared likely to succeed.

However, Noel McParlan - champion Ulster point-to-point rider - on the winner, trained and owned by his father Sean, was not to be denied, delivering a resolute challenge after the final flight.

The Cabra-based trainer said: "It's nice to get the win as he goes to the sales at Fairyhouse on Tuesday. He's a consistent sort. He has a bit of pace and is better delivered with one run late."

Irish champion trainer Willie Mullins and former jumps champion jockey Paul Townend, despite the reversal in the opener, were quickly on the score board when Chlidrens List claimed victory.

Patrick Mullins, representing his father, said "I thought Paul was excellent on him. He might prefer going the other direction but he won. We'll probably stick to country tracks with him meantime. He's paying his way."

Dublin trainer Pat Cluskey supplied the winner of the handicap hurdle with Ciankyle.

Meath trainer Gordon Elliott brought his tally at Downpatrick this year to 12 after Rosie Revenue in the hands of claiming rider Luke Dempsey landed the mares handicap hurdle. "She did it well. She gets lazy in front but always had plenty left," Dempsey said.

The big two in the market dominated the long distance maiden with Westerner Lady representing the Mullins/Townend combination prevailing when relegating the Elliott-trained Ultimate Horseman to runner-up.

Patrick Mullins said: "Paul was very good on her. It's great to have his services when Ruby (Walsh) isn't available. She wants good ground and is very tough."

Sligo handler Mark McNiff maintained his excellent record at the venue when Mr Mulliner with Derek Fox on board followed up success at Sligo last time in the handicap hurdle for connections.

RUBY Walsh hailed Bashboy after the pair's victory in the Australian Grand National at Ballarat.

"What a horse. It's a pleasure to ride such a wonderful horse," Walsh said.

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