Willie Mullins is hopeful Dolcita can continue to follow in the hoofprints of her illustrious stable companion Laurina after making an impressive Irish debut at Tramore.
Having been placed on each of her two starts in France, Dolcita was the 8-13 favourite for the 2020 Tramore Annual Badge Mares Maiden Hurdle – the same race in which Mullins introduced Laurina two years ago.
Laurina went on to enjoy an unbeaten novice campaign over hurdles, which included an 18-length success in the Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Paddy Power make Dolcita – who runs in the same colours as Laurina – the 6-1 second-favourite for the same race after she came home 11 lengths clear in County Waterford in the hands of Paul Townend.
Mullins said: “She’s shown me that kind of ability at home. We were hoping she would put in a good run like that and she did.
“We’ll probably try to follow the Laurina route with her. She will probably go to Fairyhouse next for the Grade Three (Solerina Mares Novice Hurdle, January).”
The champion trainer and jockey had strong claims of landing a double in the Maureen Mullins Outstanding Achievement Award 2019 Maiden Hurdle, but 1-4 favourite Five O’Clock was beaten into second place by Gordon Elliott’s Ferocious.
Sporting blinkers for the first time, the 25-1 shot displayed marked improvement on his bumper form to prevail by a length and a quarter under Jack Kennedy and provide Elliott with his 100th winner of the season.
“He did it well. It’s tough going, but he got through it and stayed galloping. He jumped very well for a horse first time over hurdles,” said Kennedy.
“It was a big step up from his bumper form, but I think he probably just wants a trip and will want further in time.”
Elliott and Kennedy enjoyed further success as 10-1 shot Three Is Company ran out a comprehensive winner of the Harry de Bromhead Outstanding Achievement Award 2019 Beginners Chase.
The trainer completed a treble as One Down justified 4-5 favouritism in the bumper under Lisa O’Neill.
It was a memorable afternoon for trainer-owner Willie Austin and 7lb claimer Trevor Ryan, with the pair teaming up to score with both 10-1 shot Red Lemonade in the handicap hurdle and 8-1 chance Highest Benefit in the handicap chase.
“The two winners are out of the one mare (Deep Gold). Our horses have never been better – they’re in great form,” said Austin.
Une Lavandiere was a 14-1 winner of the mares handicap hurdle for the formidable combination of Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore.