On His Own runs out an impressive winner of the Bobbyjo ChasePICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Bobbyjo Chase goes the way of Mullins again
Report: Fairyhouse, Saturday
At the Races Bobbyjo Chase 3m1f, 5yo+
WILLIE MULLINS won the Bobbyjo Chase for the fifth time in ten years as On His Own scored in the manner his odds suggested would be the case.
Owned by Andrea and Graham Wylie, On His Own was sent off the 11-8 favourite and he had little trouble in accounting for his rivals with the second favourite Mount Benbulben finishing a long way back in second.
The winner was a third on the card for Mullins and a second for Ruby Walsh, the pair having been successful with Beluckyagain earlier, while the trainer also took the opener with Abbyssial.
Although his win did not set the ante-post market for the Crabbie's Grand National alight, it was hardly surprising that some bookmakers chose to cut his odds to 16-1 for the Aintree marathon, although he can still be backd at 25-1 for the April 5 showpiece with connections unsure as to where they will go now.
Mullins said: "That was a fine performance coming off a hard race like the Thyestes. We clearly have a lot of thinking to do about Aintree.
"There is a chance we could step him up in grade for the Punchestown Gold Cup and I would say we're entitled to consider it after a performance like that.
"I'll talk to Mr Wylie about it but we might just have to rethink the whole Aintree situation. Luckily we're double handed with Prince De Beauchene but we've been like that for the last two years and Prince De Beauchene hasn't got there."
Abbyssial (red silks) made all to beat stablemate Adriana Des MottesPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Also on Saturday
Report: Fairyhouse, Saturday
Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m, 4yo
RUBY WALSH does not make many mistakes but he made one here long before the horses stepped onto the track, choosing to ride Adriana Des Mottes who could not quite manage to reel in stablemate Abbyssial.
Instead Willie Mullins won the opening race on a busy Saturday with Paul Townend on the 11-4 second favourite who got the better of his odds-on stablemate by a half a length.
Abbyssial led from start to finish with Walsh sat prominently throughout on the 8-11 shot. Turning for home the field bunched with several in with chances, however Townend judged the pace to perfection and kicked clear approaching the last.
His mount appeared to idle slightly in front after the final flight, allowing the favourite to get closer than perhaps he merited. Abbyssial took his unbeaten record to three since joining the Mullins team for owner Violet O'Leary.
Paddy Power reacted by cutting the winner to 20-1 (from 33) for the Triumph Hurdle and Mullins said: "It looks like he's improving. He could be a Cheltenham horse but I wouldn't want drying ground. He could well go back to France with him. I'd have no worries about him getting up the hill."