Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)

DANNY Mullins kickstarted a wonderful day with the first of his three Grade 1 wins for uncle Willie on board Dancing City (20/1), who caused an upset in the opening Grade 1 Nathaniel Lacy Solicitors & Partners Novice Hurdle.

Danny initially had the Joe and Marie Donnelly-owned gelding in front before settling in behind Jetara as they approached the stands for the first time in the two-mile-six-furlong contest.

The pair took it up from Jetara on the turn into the straight, and though Predators Gold’s challenge looked a potent one after the last, Dancing City kept on strongly for Mullins to score by a length and a quarter.

This was a strong staying performance from the winner, but his jockey excelled in the saddle, reading the pace perfectly early on.

The win was a surprise to an extent but Dancing City is clearly going the right direction and is seen more as a Albert Bartlett type, for which he was left best priced for at 12/1.

“He disappointed the first day when Paul (Townend) rode him in Navan (fifth to Stellar Story), and I got to win a maiden on him the next day (at Navan again) and found a lot of improvement then,” said the winning rider. “To be fair to him he’s found that improvement again.

“What I loved in Navan was from the furlong pole to the finish, he was very strong, and turning in here, I didn’t want to be setting sail too early but once I committed him, he didn’t stop all the way to the line. It was a proper Grade 1 performance.”