MAKING his first appearance in 791 days, Ferny Hollow (2/5 favourite) made light work of four rivals in the Grade 3 Newlands Chase at Naas on Sunday.

The Willie Mullins-trained chaser travelled well off the strong pace and last year’s winner Rebel Gold and Espanito Bello in third were no match for him.

“I’m very happy with him, that he was able to do that after such a long lay off,” said Mullins of the Cheveley Park Stud-owned nine-year-old. “We thought looking at the make up of the race that there was going to be plenty of pace, because a lot of the horses wanted a longer trip, so we felt there wasn’t much point taking them on.

“Paul settled him in behind and said that he settled lovely. We were happy to use those tactics and hoped that if he got around, he would be the fastest horse in the straight, which he was.

“He’s in at Cheltenham so we might look at that but it would be a big ask to go to Cheltenham on his second run. It will be all about how he comes out of this race and we’ll probably look for easier options for him I think.”


Earlier Mullins took the Naas Racecourse Business Club Maiden Hurdle with hurdles/stable debutant Tounsivator (7/2).

Running in the colours of the Temple Bloodstock Syndicate, the son of Motivator impressed in the manner of the way he travelled into the race and by the way he came back from an error at the last to win snugly at the line from Rainbow Trail.

“Paul (Townend) said he was a little bit keen but he’s an ex flat horse so you’d expect that,” said Patrick Mullins. “Paul said he stood on himself (at the last), so to recover and win after losing all momentum was very impressive.

“There is plenty of room for improvement when he settles and gets a clean round of jumping, he could be a fair horse. He can be dual purpose as well.”

Connell right on the Munny

BARRY Connell was in typically bullish humour after he saw his William Munny (13/2) quicken up smartly to take the Download the BetVictor App Flat Race.

The son of Westerner cruised up to market rivals Wingmen and Fleur In The Park inside the final furlong before quickening away from the latter to score by an impressive five lengths.

He doesn’t have an entry in the Champion Bumper but will now head to the Punchestown Festival equivalent, for which Connell believes he is the horse to beat.

“I was astonished the price this horse went off,” the winning trainer said. “I went through the race and thought the horse should have been even-money favourite.

“He is an exceptional horse and he showed it at Navan. The horse he beat there was Willie’s Champion Bumper horse (C’est Ta Chance). He is after improving from that and he’s hardly having a blow there, it was only a bit of work.

“I’m definitely not taking him to Cheltenham. I normally don’t like giving them more than two runs in winners’ bumpers but I’m going to bring this fella to Punchestown for the Champion Bumper there and I think he’s the one to beat in it. In my view, he’s the best bumper horse in the country.”


The withdrawal of five-time winner Wodhooh rendered the Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle a soft Grade 3 but in spite of that, the race produced a smart winner in hurdles debutant Bottler’secret (6/5 favourite).

The Gavin Cromwell-trained gelding, a dual winner on the flat for Ciaran Murphy, made a couple of novicey mistakes early in the two-mile contest but learned as he went, before going right away on the run in to score by 11 lengths in the hands of Sean Flanagan.

The winning trainer reflected: “It might not have been the greatest Grade 3 but for his first day he jumped well, a little bit big and slow early on, but the further he went the better he got.

“I thought we were getting on in the year, so we can pitch him in at the deep end and if he doesn’t win, he will be a novice next year but he’s gone and won there now. He’s in the Triumph, but I’m not sure if we will go there, if he had a bit more experience I’d be tempted but it is what it is.”

Battle won for O’Dwyers

THE Listed Nas Na Riogh Novice Handicap Chase looked a really competitive affair beforehand but it featured a clearcut and impressive winner in Conor O’Dwyer’s unexposed Battle It Out (6/1).

Ridden by the trainer’s son Charlie, the J.P. McManus-owned six-year-old came from off the pace to join issue with Shantreusse at the last and went all of 13 lengths clear in the straight, relishing this step up to two and a half miles. Scoring off a mark of 116, this was just his fifth chase start and a big step forward from his handicap chase debut recently at Fairyhouse.

“Soft ground and a bit of a trip helped today,” said the winning trainer. “He jumped unbelievable. He got a terrible fall at Punchestown but he learned from it. He had a nice light weight today and they went a good gallop which helped. He’s a lovely horse to look forward to next year but this was a lovely prize to win.”

Bounced back

Noble Birth (16/1) bounced back to his best form with a win in the Pertemps Network Group Handicap Hurdle for trainer Eric McNamara and rider Daniel King.

The In Bounds Syndicate-owned gelding settled in mid-division before making his challenge up to the long time leader Maxxum turning for home.

He held a three-length advantage at the last and a quick jump allowed him to hold that advantage over favourite Cleatus Poolaw and Kerry National winner Desertmore House running well in third, and the final qualifying place going to Emancipator.

The winner was competing from 4lb out of the handicap, so effectively off a mark of 117, and was allotted a mark of 129 by the British handicapper this week, leaving him very close to the line for the Pertemps Final.

The trainer’s son, Conor, reported: “He ran a blinder at Cheltenham in November when he was just too keen which was my fault, we put the cheekpieces on him. We left them off him today and he relaxed away lovely.

“Dan gave him a lovely ride. He’s entered in the Pertemps and if he gets in, he’ll go and if not, we might look to Mallow in a month’s time and see if we can get him qualified for that Full Circle race at Punchestown.”

American Money (9/1) recorded his second win of the season at Naas, handling a drop down in trip when making all to take the Best Odds Guaranteed At BetVictor Handicap Hurdle over just short of two miles.

The Eddie and Patrick Harty-trained gelding set a decent tempo in front and outlasted his nearest pursuer Lazer Wolf by a length and a half.

“I’ve wanted to drop him down to two miles for his last few runs,” Harty snr said. “He has no gears but he is not slow and I thought he could burn them off.

“The ultimate plan has always been the Full Circle Series Final at Punchestown. He’s a fun horse owned by a big syndicate which includes my wife, they love him and are enjoying him.”