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Flyer takes novice prize

The domination of Willie Mullins and Paul Townend at Punchestown continued as Gagewell Flyer (13-8 favourite) landed the Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle.

Unbeaten over hurdles, the seven-year-old was carrying a penalty for a win in Grade Two company at Navan and his biggest threat eventually came from new stablemate Earlson Gray (16-1).

The French import was over five lengths adrift at the final flight but made great strides under Mullins' nephew, Emmet, to close to within a neck but, in truth, the superiority of the winner was far greater.

Mullins said: "I'm delighted with both horses. I brought Gagewell Flyer back to two miles to get more experience of a fast-run race into him and to get him jumping faster. He'll probably go for the Neptune Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham now.

"Earlson Gray looks a nice recruit for hurdling. He is still a maiden over hurdles but he won a chase in France and he can't run in maidens as a result. He'll stick to novice hurdles."

That race brought up a treble for Mullins and Townend after Some Target (9-2) made it two out of two for the duo in the Association Of Irish Racehorse Owners Grand National Trial Handicap Chase.

Given his customary patient ride by Townend, Some Target appeared at the third-last as if he had just joined in and jumped in front at the final fence.

Jim Culloty's Noble Concorde put up a determined effort but was two lengths down at the line.


From Belfast Telegraph