Belfast Telegraph

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Mullins happy with Midnight show

Willie Mullins will probably give The Midnight Club another chance in the John Smith's Grand National after the gelding was far from disgraced in finishing sixth when favourite for Saturday's race.

The trainer also saddled Arbor Supreme, who was beaten when falling three from home, and Dooneys Gate, who was fatally injured when coming to grief at Becher's Brook first time round.

"The Midnight Club is a bit tired, but he's fine. I was happy enough with his run. He got round and picked up some good prize-money. I'd imagine he'll be back there next year," said Mullins.

"We'll just see how he is before we make any plans. There are options for him - he could go to Fairyhouse or Punchestown - but we'll see.

"David Casey was happy enough with how Arbor Supreme jumped until he came down. He just never had the bounce of the ball, he was interfered with a bit and one thing and another. He'll probably go back next year as well - there's no reason not to.

"I don't think he'll run again this season as he's got a bit of a cut and won't be ready for Punchestown.

"What happened to Dooneys Gate was really disappointing. He was jumping fantastic and giving Patrick (Mullins) a great spin. He was probably jumping too well and you don't want to be like that going down towards Becher's."

Backstage was a leading fancy for Gordon Elliott, having won a couple of point-to-points, and completed the course to finish 10th.

The trainer said: "He's come out of the race fine and got round. The ground was probably a bit dry for him - he'd have been better with a bit of juice. He's jumped round and finished sound, so we're all happy. It would be nice to go back next year on ground a bit softer."

Last year's Irish National heroine Bluesea Cracker completed the course on her first attempt over the fences, finishing 14th, and her trainer James Motherway said: "She has one or two cuts, bruises and battle scars, but she's fine. The ground was just too quick."


From Belfast Telegraph