Willie Mullins 'very taken' with Bellshill in Navan victory
Bellshill gave Willie Mullins his fourth win in the last five renewals of the Navan Novice Hurdle with a clear-cut victory at the County Meath track.
A Grade One bumper winner at Punchestown in April, Bellshill (4-6 favourite) followed up his debut hurdles win at Cork in an impressive manner to take this Grade Two contest over two and a half miles.
The winner's stablemate Stone Hard made the running until he parted company with Paul Townend at the fifth-last flight.
That left Ruby Walsh in front on Bellshill and the Graham Wylie-owned five-year-old sealed success with good leaps at the final two flights.
Tycoon Prince was 12 lengths back in second with Chesterfieldavenue last of the three finishers.
Mullins said: "I know there were very few runners but there was very good opposition.
"The manner in which he quickened from the second-last in that ground, I was very taken with him.
"I was particularly pleased the way he handled the ground. He can tidy up his jumping but did everything nicely.
"He'll probably go to Naas for the Lawlors Hotel Hurdle next month."
Mullins was at a loss to explain Stone Hard's careless display.
"I'm a bit disappointed with the other horse," he said.
"I don't know what happened to him. He missed a few early on as well."