JESSICA Harrington is eyeing a Grade 1 in the spring for Jetara after her comprehensive victory in the William Hill Mares Novice Hurdle at Punchestown on Wednesday.

The well-bred daughter of Walk In The Park had opened her hurdling account at Fairyhouse last month, after some fine runs in good company last season, and went to post 2/1 joint-favourite in the listed contest.

Sean O’Keeffe produced the Gerry McGrath-owned filly to lead going to the last and despite a slight error there, she soon asserted to post a six-length win over A Penny A Hundred.

“She was good. She’s got the experience from last year and is a second season novice basically,” said Harrington.

“She goes on that heavy ground, unlike the rest of the family. She’s hardy now and she won going away, she quickened up great.

“She might get an entry in the mares’ race at Christmas (Grade 3 Kerrymount Mares Hurdle at Leopardstown) and there is one at the end of January (Solerina Mares Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse).

“We’ll look at anything over two and a half miles or two miles and five. I might try and find a three-mile race in England.

“The Mares’ Novice at Cheltenham is only two miles. I’d rather wait and go to Fairyhouse for the Grade 1, that would be her aim in the spring.”

Another treble for Closutton

WILLIE Mullins is no stranger to saddling multiple winners at Punchestown and sent out a trio to score on the card.

Embassy Gardens justified his short price in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase when running out an easy winner.

The Shantou gelding jumped well on his first outing over fences and the 8/11 shot kicked on before the last to post a 13-length success over second Lets Go Champ.

Townend, in the colours of Sean and Bernardine Mulryan, was impressed with his jumping and said:

“He’s brilliant, when you’re riding him, you’d be encouraged to keep asking him everywhere but on that ground you can’t.

“It was the perfect introduction, he relaxed and jumped well. I didn’t have to be too hard on him but going around on that ground will take a bit out of them anyway.

“Today was just about getting him to do things right and he did, he couldn’t have done any more.”

Blizzard Of Oz went to post 5/4 favourite on his jumping debut, in the two miles and three furlongs maiden hurdle, but had to work to get the job done.

Townend held the Arctic Cosmos gelding up before asking him to take closer order turning for home.

He collared Killaney King on the run-in to record a two-length win for owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede.

Good jump

“He jumped every one differently and he can only improve,” said Townend afterwards. “

“I think there is a good jump in him because at the last in the back straight I had to ask him for one and he came but he was unsure of himself. He toughed it out well, he had to be tough in that ground.”

The treble was completed in the two-mile conditions hurdle when Elixir D’ainay made a winning return from a 1,372-day absence.

Mark Walsh let the 4/5 favourite lead from the third flight and he saw off the challenge of Whimsy going to the last to go on to record a two-and-a-quarter length win.

The Muhtathir gelding had last been seen falling two from home when running a big race in the 2020 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

J.P. McManus’ racing manager Frank Berry said:- “Willie had him entered in a chase and I’d presume that’s the road he’ll go down from here.

“It’s lovely to get him back and that was a lovely race to find for him. We’ll be happy now if the wheels stay on.

“He’s a fine big horse and his form was very good around the time he got injured.”

Mangan’s Tower

The McManus colours had also been carried to success by Walsh in the opening rated novice chase on the Jimmy Mangan-trained Spillane’s Tower.

After a couple of promising runs over fences the Walk In The Park gelding got his head in front.

The 9/4 favourite fought it out with Firm Footings on the run-in and edged ahead close home to secure a head victory in the two-miler.

“He had two great runs and he delivered today so it was great,” said Mangan.

“It turned out to be a sprint, they went very handy for the first mile. He has a bit of class, he’s not too slow.”

McManus completed a treble on the card himself when the Philip Rothwell-trained Duffys Getaway recorded another easy win, in the handicap hurdle over just shy of three miles.

The 11/2 favourite came with a strong surge to lead before the last and score by 10 lengths under Simon Torrens.

“I’m really pleased because he’s a horse that had hugely disappointed us,” said Rothwell.

“He’s got a level of confidence from the last day and kicked on forward. He has a little wind issue so to see him getting through that ground is great.”

King comes good for Cawley

A SWITCH back to hurdles reaped rewards with Petit King in the Full Circle Series Qualifier Handicap Hurdle.

Philip Enright produced Eddie Cawley’s gelding with a perfectly timed surge on the run-in as the 14/1 shot got up in the closing stages to beat Morricone by a length and a half.

Cawley said: “I thought he was leaving him with a lot to do but Philip said he thought all along that he had enough in hand to get there.

“He ran a great race at Fairyhouse for me at the festival meeting at Easter, a horse fell and he got driven out into the next parish. After that I thought if I could just keep him right.

“I think we’ll keep him at the hurdles because he didn’t impress me a lot when we tried him over fences. We’ll take what comes.”

Winning start

Gordon Elliott had to wait until the last race to get on the scoresheet when Mount Nelson gelding Kish Bank made a winning start on the track in the Irish EBF Auction Flat Race.

Harry Swan took the mount on the four-year-old, who had won a point-to-point at Tinahely for the yard last month before being bought by Gigginstown.

The 4/5 favourite led half a mile from home and found plenty in the closing stages to repel Seatoit by three-quarters of a length.

“He’s a grand horse. To be honest I was kind of nervous about running him because he ran in a point-to-point a few weeks ago,” said Elliott.

“He’s a horse for the future, a big horse and we’ll put him away now until next year. You might see him run in a graded hurdle or something.”