VOIX Du Reve provided Willie Mullins with back-to-back successes in the Grade 1 Ryanair Gold Cup Novice Chase at Fairyhouse.
Subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Al Boum Photo landed the two-and-a-half-mile heat in 2018, and Voix Du Reve led home stablemate Real Steel 12 months on.
It was a welcome change of fortune for owners Andrea and Graham Wylie, who sadly lost horses in both the Gold Cup and the Grand National.
Ruby Walsh had Voix Du Reve beautifully settled as Mengli Khan put the pace to the race before he dropped away ahead of the turn for home.
Real Steel had been restrained at the rear by Paul Townend and emerged as a threat at the second last, but he never looked like getting on terms.
Voix Du Reve (9/4) was kept up to his work to win by five and a half lengths.
Willie Mullins won the Ryanair Gold Cup Novice Chase with Al Boum Photo last year and wins it again this year as Voix Du Reve under Ruby Walsh defeats stablemate Real Steel @Fairyhouse ????— Racing TV (@RacingTV) April 21, 2019
Results ? https://t.co/glajGV55GR pic.twitter.com/WeEKbwUiFv
Mullins said: “It’s great for Graham Wylie, who hasn’t had the luckiest of seasons, and it’s nice to get a Grade 1 for him.
“He’s a very keen horse who is probably bred to get a bit further. Now that he’s relaxing a bit more in his races, he’s getting a bit further.
“He was travelling well when he went in the JLT at Cheltenham, but he’s got his compensation today.
“I was delighted with the way Real Steel stayed on as it looked like he wasn’t appreciating the ground, but he was staying on well. He will definitely stay further.
“Both horses will go to Punchestown, all being well.”
Drama @Fairyhouse as Mind's Eye runs out at the second last and carries out Snugsborough Hall to hand Impact Factor the Novice Handicap Chase ??— Racing TV (@RacingTV) April 21, 2019
Rachael Blackmore is up okay after her tumble ?? pic.twitter.com/t2DFuOZWPM
Impact Factor emerged the victor in a dramatic finish to the Grade B BoyleSports Novice Handicap Chase.
Robbie Power was primed to challenge aboard Impact Factor on the outside of the Rachael Blackmore-ridden Mind’s Eye, with Denis O’Regan also trying to go up the inside of that rival on Snugsborough Hall.
However, having jumped out to his left previously, Mind’s Eye dived to his right before the second last, taking Snugsborough Hall out of the race with him.
That left Jessica Harrington’s Impact Factor (4/1) to come home five and a half lengths clear of Quamino.
“We might have been lucky, but Robbie thought he was going as well as anything. He’s fairly wayward and he could easily have run out after them!” said Harrington.
“It’s great to have a bit of luck on your side. He’s had a wind op since his last run and will head to Punchestown now. He’s talented but a typical Flemensfirth.”
SON OF GALILEO
The meeting got off to a great start for Mark Walsh who doubled up on Galilean and Roxboro Road.
Joseph O’Brien’s Galilean (4/1) sprinted clear after the last to beat odds-on favourite Mr Everest by nine lengths.
“He jumped well enough and he stays well. He probably ran to a similar level that he did the last day. It’s nice to get a winner here,” said O’Brien.
“He’s by Galileo and likes a bit of nice ground. He’ll probably step up in trip and could go to Killarney for a novice. Punchestown may come a bit soon.”
Ted Walsh’s Roxboro Road (6/1 co-favourite) had worn cheekpieces to win at Leopardstown last time out, but was equipped with blinkers as he won by 13 lengths in the YR Sauce Novice Handicap Hurdle.
Walsh said: “He’s done it well and he found plenty with the blinds today. I thought he had his chance, but I didn’t think he was as good as that.
“At home he hangs on to plenty, so that’s why I stuck the blinkers on him. I had cheek pieces on him the last day. They obviously woke him up, he liked the good ground and everything fell into place.
“Hopefully he’ll improve and win a good race some day. He’ll go to Punchestown for the Martinstown Handicap Hurdle if he’s sound and well.”
Davy Russell and Gordon Elliott were on the mark with Mill Quest (14/1) in the Lauro At Hayes Stud Rated Novice Chase.
“Davy gave her a great ride. She was an outsider and hadn’t shown much form this year, but bounced back great today,” said Elliott.
“She won four for us last year, and has been covered by Mount Nelson.”