Weld star back in style
Published 12/11/2011 | 15:02
Unaccompanied proved far too classy for her rivals in the Naas Vet Panel Supporting Racing Fishery Lane Hurdle at Naas.
The Dermot Weld-trained filly had beaten Sailors Warn to a Grade One prize at Leopardstown earlier in the year, but looked to have a bit to do when that opponent shot through against the rails to hit the front on the run to the final flight.
But Paul Townend only had to shake the reins at the 1-2 market leader for her to go in pursuit and she did not have to come off the bridle to register an impressive three-length success.
Weld said: "That was a very pleasing performance and was very professional from both Unaccompanied and Paul. She won as you would expect her to.
"She is entered in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle and we'll look at that. We'll see how she comes out of this race and she will also be entered up over Christmas. I thought she was impressive there and there's lots to look forward to."
Townend had earlier steered Quel Esprit to a confidence-boosting success in the Become A Naas Annual Member Chase. Willie Mullins' classy grey failed to complete on his final three outings of his novice career - all at the highest level - but was assured in his jumping here.
Chief market rival Saludos tried to make a race of it but faded and Townend always looked confident on the 8-13 favourite, easing him seven lengths clear of Foildubh at the line.
Mullins said: "I'm mindful of what happened him last year - if we could get numbers rather that letters beside his name, that would be the main aim! If he keeps his jumping together we could have a nice season and we'll try to find a graded race on the way to Christmas with him now.
"We'll go up in grade slowly though. He schooled well at home recently and translated that to the racecourse. I think he wants a trip and wouldn't mind three miles."
Townend completed a treble on the Mullins-trained Lambro (7-2) in the Tipper Road Beginners Chase. A Grade Two winner over the smaller obstacles, he was always prominent on this fencing debut and saw off favourite Shinrock Paddy by four and a quarter lengths.