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Twin lights up Dial-A-Bet


Twinlight puts in a fine leap in the hands of Paul Townend

Twinlight puts in a fine leap in the hands of Paul Townend

Twinlight puts in a fine leap in the hands of Paul Townend

Twinlight bounced right back to his best to win the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase and in the process condemn Hidden Cyclone to the runner-up spot in the Leopardstown feature for the second year running.

Willie Mullins' unpredictable seven-year-old was sent off at 16-1 as he was pulled up on his last outing in the Hilly Way Chase at Cork.

However, yet again he showed that when he is on a going day and in the right conditions, he is a very good two-miler chaser.

Hidden Cyclone ran his usual game race from the front, seeing off Uxizandre at the head of affairs with a mile to run and putting the rest under pressure, despite jumping to his right on occasions.

All bar Twinlight were in trouble turning into the straight and it was he who saw out the race best in the conditions, winning by four and three-quarter lengths, giving a welcome change of luck to Paul Townend, who was beaten on some red-hot favourites a day earlier.

Nicky Richards' Simply Ned stayed on gamely for third, but the favourite Uxizandre and Ballycasey were very disappointing.

Mullins said: "At Cork I had said to Paul 'I want you to go down the inner and just wing your fences' and two or three other horses kept up to him. I said to Paul today to do the same, and he said he wanted to change the plan. Paul said 'no, I want to go the outside'.

"They went such a gallop today that Paul was on the outside, on his own and I think at about halfway the horse started to enjoy it and if you look at, I think, the second fence down the back, he put in as big a jump as I ever saw around here and he landed running.

"Hidden Cyclone ran a fantastic race - I thought he had us beaten going to the last - but our fella just met it right and I'm delighted for Paul to get a Grade One winner, against the head, as we say."

Denis O'Regan's decision to make the journey back to Ireland was fully vindicated when he produced Living Next Door with a typically patient ride to win the hugely valuable Paddy Power Chase.

A close fifth in the four-miler at Cheltenham in March, Tony Martin's charge had shown little in two runs this season but bounced right back to his best under his confident jockey, who had earlier won on the yard's Blair Perrone.

Top-weight Foxrock, sent off the 7-2 favourite, made a bold bid under Adrian Heskin and had everything else in trouble approaching the final fence, but O'Regan had stalked him into the straight going particularly well.

The eight-year-old put in a massive leap and the 20-1 chance saw off his rival by a length and a quarter, with Vics Canvas running a fine race in third and The Job Is Right fourth in a thrilling finish.

Martin said: "These are the sort of races you like winning. You target them, and it's wonderful that it's worked out. Every fence he made ground and O'Regan gave him the ride of the year as far as I'm concerned.

" We'll have a think about where we go next, but he won't be going anywhere for at least a month anyway."