Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase (Grade 2)
A BRAVE and gallant second to stablemate Colreevy last year, Elimay went one better this year with an equally tough performance to see off outsiders Pink Legend and Scarlet And Dove.
The win gave Willie Mullins a fifth winner on Gold Cup day and record-breaking 10th win of the Festival on what has been a sensational week for all at Closutton.
Held up by Mark Walsh, she didn’t always travel and jump fluently for Mark Walsh, and the pair were tightly trapped in on the rail by the improving Scarlet And Dove as the field congregated together turning for home.
At this stage the two long-time leaders Zambella and Maid O’Malley were contesting the lead, with Scarlet And Dove moving up to challenge, and Pink Legend was also delivering a big challenge on the outside.
However, once moved to her outside and with clear daylight Elimay picked up really well up the hill, and just saw off the challenge of Pink Legend, who finished a nose ahead of Scarlet And Dove.
Assistant trainer David Casey told Racing TV: “She is not overly big, she’s quite small to be jumping fences but she is really, really tough and she stays very well, and she doesn’t know when she is beat. She didn’t help Mark a lot but that can be her at times. She is a little bit small but she has got scope.
“The horses have run brilliant all week, even the ones that go beat, they’ve all run well. It’s been a fabulous week. Everyone that works in racing knows it’s not easy - there are some big let downs so for all the team at home who put in so much hard work, to come and have a week like this is brilliant.”
In behind, both Concertista and Mount Ida disappointed, with jumping errors ultimately proving costly. Mount Ida consistently jumped to her right and couldn’t get close to land a blow in the straight while Concertista made an untimely error at the fence before the straight.