WILLIE Mullins enjoyed a double at Naas which included the feature Listed BBA Ireland Limited Opera Hat Mares Chase with Cut The Mustard.
Only five went to post for the two-mile event and Cut The Mustard was sent off the 1/3 favourite, with the result never looking in any real doubt, although there was a slight moment of concern early on.
Paul Townend kept things simple and Cut The Mustard cruised to a six-length victory over Tintangle.
?? Cut The Mustard (2020)— Racing TV (@RacingTV) February 8, 2020
?? Pravalaguna (2019)
?? Benie Des Dieux (2018)
?? Gitane Du Berlais (2016)
Willie Mullins continues his good record with another easy winner in the Listed @BBAIreland Opera Hat Mares Chase at @NaasRacecourse @PTownend pic.twitter.com/0ZODlCLA2k
“Paul said his mare started to follow Tintangle out, so he thought he was lucky to get away with it,” said Mullins of the early mistake.
“Other than that she jumped straightforward bar a mistake at the fifth-last. She’s straightforward and improving nicely. Paul was happy he was going to make all anyway.
“We’ll try to keep her to mares’ contests and that kind of trip suits her.”
Mullins and Townend were also on the mark with Aione (10/11 favourite) in the Connolly’s Red Mills Irish EBF Auction Novice Hurdle, another to make most of the running, although Cheltenham is unlikely to figure on his agenda.
Owner JP McManus also celebrated a double. Firstly, Aramax (7/2) won the Ardstone Homes Supporting Kill GAA Rated Novice Hurdle for Gordon Elliott and Mark Walsh.
“That was grand, it wasn’t the strongest race in the world, probably, but it was nice to win it,” said Elliott.
“We’ll try to find something small for him now. He’s going the right way. He’s not the worst horse in the world.”
Walsh then teamed up with Joseph O’Brien to win the O’Driscoll O’Neil Supporting Kill GAA Maiden Hurdle on Entoucas (4/5 favourite).
“He’s been knocking on the door, his form is solid and it’s nice to get that out of the way,” said Frank Berry, McManus’ racing manager. “He liked the bit of nice ground and he’ll jump a fence in time, he’s a grand big horse.
“He’s very straightforward and it was just unfortunate that day in Navan (jumped through rail after the line into a photographer). It’s lovely to get that out of the way and he enjoyed himself.
“He’s rated 131 and we might look for a nice handicap somewhere.”