SIX of Thurles’ seven races last Saturday were won by last week’s Cheltenham winning jockeys with Gold Cup hero Paul Townend being successful along with Honeysuckle’s rider Rachael Blackmore, for trainer Henry de Bromhead.

Featured race was the Grade 3 Pierce Molony Memorial Novice Chase which was won by the Townend-partnered Flame Bearer (11/10 favourite), for Galopin Des Champs’ trainer Willie Mullins.

Carrying the colours of Linda Mulcahy and Mary Wolridge, Flame Bearer made all for an easy 13 lengths win over Upping The Ante.

Champion trainer Mullins wasn’t present and Townend, who won the Gold Cup and flew into Ireland on a morning flight after Cheltenham, said “every winner in Cheltenham is special but the Gold Cup is the Gold Cup and it has an extra spice about it, with plenty of pressure riding a horse being so well fancied. It was brilliant the way it worked out.”

Regarding Flame Bearer the delighted rider reported: “I thought after he ran the last day that he would be better left go along (in front) and he got into a better rhythm jumping - he still needs to brush up a bit but he knows where his feet are and he likes being left to do that.

“He has a mistake in him but he warmed up to it quite well and turned around form with Indiana Jones “

On the mark

Honeysuckle’s Cheltenham win last Tuesday week will forever be remembered and her jockey Rachael Blackmore and trainer Henry de Bromhead were also on the mark here, with another Cheltenham hero Summerville Boy (4/1), in the End Of The Season Hurdle.

Winner of Cheltenham’s 2018 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the 11-year-old ended a two-and-a-half-year losing spell when making all to beat returning Asterion Forlonge by four and a half lengths.

Blackmore said: “Summerville Boy had been doing things nicely, had been schooling well and we were hoping to get a day like that out of him. My lad is a lot fitter (than Asterion Forlonge) so had that on his side and that was a help.”

Regarding her win on Honeysuckle she added: “It was an incredible week and Tuesday was a day I’ll never forget.”

De Bromhead later completed a double as his Robcour-owned newcomer Factual Fact (100/30) scored impressively under amateur jockey John Gleeson, 18, who was also on the mark at Cheltenham on A Dream To Share.

Gleeson said: “I thought it was a smart performance. Henry said to drop him, ride him with plenty of confidence and he was impressive.

“Being by Authorized you’d think he would have plenty speed and he is a half-brother to a horse who won on the all-weather so there is plenty speed in the family. He is a baby and is still green but did it well. He will come on a pile from that.”

He added: “Cheltenham was brilliant, it is still surreal and has yet to sink in.”

Rocco arrives on Time

CHELTENHAM began with a Michael O’Sullivan-partnered winner of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and today he bagged the opening Dillon Quirke Foundation (Mares) Beginners’ Chase on Time To Rocco (4/1).

The James Coleman-owned mare was produced to lead on the run-in and afterwards winning trainer Colin Motherway said “She was crying out for a fence all along as she is a massive big mare.

“She has won her point-to-point, bumper, maiden hurdle and now beginners’ chase so has picked up her third €5,000 ITBA bonus, so it is great and it is a great incentive.

“I told Michael to jump off handy, let her jump away and make the running if she was able to, but he said she was caught for toe early on. She is as tough as nails and when she turned in, she came alive and battled well to the line.

“We’ll give her a couple of weeks off, look after her as she owes us nothing.”

The other chase was the Jimmy Neville Memorial Handicap Chase which was won by Cheltenham’s Cross-Country Chase winning rider Keith Donoghue on the Gavin Cromwell-trained Routine Excellence (12/1).

Cromwell, whose Flooring Porter finished fourth in his Stayers’ Hurdle hat-trick bid, wasn’t present and Donoghue said: “Routine Excellence did it well, we went a good gallop and I probably got him going a bit soon after the bend and he idled a little bit.

“He won a hurdle and chase last year and has been disappointing since with a couple of problems, but hopefully is back now - we always thought he had ability.”

Killinure crowns great week for O’Keeffe

JOCKEY Darragh O’Keeffe won Cheltenham’s Grand Annual Chase on Maskada and here landed the Leugh Handicap Hurdle on the Brian McMahon-trained, Anne McMahon-owned Killinure Lass (10/1).

Runner-up Tangental, the 7/4 favourite, made a costly blunder at the last and finished a head second, with winning trainer McMahon reporting: “Killinure Lass got awfully lonesome on the run-in but luckily the line came in time.

“That’s her second win and thanks to Esther Wright who ride her out every day and is a great worker and a great help in the yard.”

Jockey Kieren Buckley’s previous visit to Cheltenham last November yielded a win with Sweet Will and today was another to make the running and win,on Tophill Low (3/1) in the Adare Manor Opportunity Maiden Hurdle.

No pace

Winning trainer Lorna Fowler reported: “In her last run there was no pace and she pulled her head off so we took her to a schooling race and left her go out in front and she went really well.

“Obviously some penny has dropped since then and she has become very professional. We have no doubt she has ability but we just have to get it right with her. All the races she’s had, she has learned a lot and today was the chance to put her out in front.

“We’ll look for blacktype for sure and she is a chasing type who has already schooled over fences.”