Colreevy ended her racing career in a blaze of glory after upsetting big guns Monkfish and Envoi Allen with a superb front-running victory in the Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase at Punchestown.
Tough Mare! ??— Punchestown (@punchestownrace) April 27, 2021
Colreevy makes all to land the Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase under @dan2231, beating Monkfish into second place ??
A 5th win on the bounce for @WillieMullinsNH ??#PTown21 pic.twitter.com/VCM3RbTyE3
A clash between the Willie Mullins-trained Monkfish and Henry de Bromhead’s Envoi Allen was billed as one of the races of the season, with Monkfish protecting an unbeaten record over fences and Envoi Allen bidding to bounce back from his early fall at Cheltenham.
However, Monkfish’s stablemate Colreevy – winner of the inaugural Mares’ Chase in the Cotswolds last month – had other ideas under a well-judged ride from the trainer’s nephew, Danny Mullins.
The 7/1 shot raced enthusiastically and jumped with exuberance on the front end, with eventual runner-up Monkfish sat second under Paul Townend and Envoi Allen third in the hands of Rachael Blackmore.
However, Envoi Allen appeared to be in trouble some way from home before eventually being pulled up approaching the second-last fence. He was found to be lame afterwards.
Meanwhile, Monkfish was also struggling to peg back the leader.
Colreevy was a little untidy at the final obstacle, but soon regathered her momentum and passed the post eight lengths clear.
The winner, who was recently covered by leading sire Walk In The Park, is now set for a well-earned retirement at the age of eight.
“That was a nice send-off,” confirmed Mullins. “Fabulous for the Flynns (owners/breeders) and for Danny as well.”
“On ratings, she was the best rated (with the 7lb mares’ allowance). Obviously Envoi Allen is not right. I think Monkfish, probably, didn’t run his true race and she did. She ran her true race and probably even ran a better race than Cheltenham.”
Danny Mullins was full of praise for his willing partner. He said: “She’s a tough mare. She was sticky early on but got into a nice rhythm and ran out a nice winner of a hot race.
“I said to Willie beforehand that I wanted to bounce out and flow and he said, ‘Yeah, just keep jumping and travelling away.’ And once she warmed into it, she was very good.
“I thought going down the back straight they were on my tail. I got a nice jump at the third last and once I was able to get up around the bend still with a little bit of petrol, I was happy enough it would take a fair one to beat me. But that said, I had Monkfish and Envoi Allen behind me. They were going to be coming at me.
“Fair play to her. That’s my second Grade 1 on her this year. Cheltenham Festival winner. She’s a proper mare.”