BURNING Victory came out on top from four Willie Mullins-trained runners to make a winning debut over jumps in the Grade 3 Norman Colfer Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle at Fairyhouse.
Formerly trained in France by Stephane Wattel, the daughter of Nathaniel holds an entry in the JCB Trimph Hurdle at Cheltenham and gave Mullins something to think about with a pleasing performance in the two-mile contest.
Van Meegeren led to the second-last flight, where Hook Up took over, but Burning Victory (7/1) burst through under Danny Mullins to lead on the run-in and score by two and a half lengths from Great Bear. Hook Up was two and quarter lengths away in third place.
Well this one wasn't mentioned in the @WillieMullinsNH Cheltenham media day ??— Racing TV (@RacingTV) February 22, 2020
?? A winner on the Flat in France, Burning Victory scores on debut for the Closutton maestro @Fairyhouse & is entered in the Triumph Hurdle at #TheFestival
Results ? https://t.co/glajGV55GR pic.twitter.com/Fta11PI33q
“I don’t think she jumped particularly well, she made one huge mistake down the back, but she seems to have a bit of natural ability, so that’s nice,” said Mullins.
When asked if it was a surprise result, he added: “Probably, they all are nice horses that work well at home but you don’t know when you bring them to the races what they are going to be like.
“With the ground conditions we said we’d take a chance as they’d be going a bit slower than they would in a normal Grade 3.
“It gave them all a chance and if something happened to win like she did we’d be thinking then, ‘would we put them on the team for Cheltenham’.
“We’ll see how they come out of it or we might just wait for the big race here at Easter. It may be a better plan.”
On the fact that two hold Triumph Hurdle entries, including the winner, he went on: “Their name probably came up in conversation and we put them in the Triumph Hurdle in case.
“I hadn’t really pressed any buttons with them. The four of them are horses that I think will be graded horses in the future.
“I’ll have a chat with the owners. It depends on how she comes out of it, but it (Cheltenham) could be tough on a mare having her second run.”
Burning Victory was cut to 33/1 from 40/1 for the Triumph with Betfair, and 25/1 from 33/1 with Paddy Power.