News stories which have appeared on the website are available free of charge but stories which have appeared in the newspaper are only available when you join Members' Club. *NOTE: The archive runs from January 1, 2006 to present


Thousand Stars: stormed to a comfortable win under Paul Townend

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (  

Thousand Stars back in the number-one spot

Report: Fairyhouse, Easter Monday

Keelings Irish Strawberry Hurdle (Grade 2), 2m4f 5yo+

THOUSAND STARS gained a first win in almost two years with a procession from the front that never looked threatened as Get Me Out Of Here chased him home.

The grey ten-year-old had shown distinct signs of a return to form in recent runs at Leopardstown and Aintree and was ridden in that vein by Paul Townend.

The 4-1 chance extended his advantage from the last flight to win comfortably from Get Me Out Of Here, the 5-4 favourite, to secure a double in the first two races for Townend and trainer Willie Mullins.

"He must be an Iron Horse - if he was nice young horse we wouldn't have run him as he had such a hard race at Aintree," Mullins said.

"He does less at home nowadays so we put cheekpieces on today. Punchestown is a week later this year so we might skip that and go to France.

"He is a beautiful horse to do anything with. Mourad [who finished out of the first three] is coming back to himself as well."

Also on Easter Monday

Fairyhouse: Tayto Hurdle (Grade 3), 2m 4yo

IVAN GROZNY had to grit his teeth and cling on under a hard-driving Paul Townend as the previously unbeaten Kitten Rock pushed him hard and late for first place in the Tayto Hurdle.

The victor, wearing a first-time hood, was returning to the winner's enclosure after an expensive defeat in the Spring Hurdle at Leopardstown in February and a disappointing show in the Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival.

Ivan Grozny returned at 5-1 for owners Andrea and Graham Wylie and trainer champion trainer Willie Mullins.

"The hood made a big difference," said Mullins.

"So did the faster ground and pace as he settled better. He's starting to look like the horse we thought he was at the start of the season."

Also on Easter Monday

Fairyhouse: Racing Post Champion Point-to-Point INH Flat Race, 2m2f 4-6yo geldings

FREE EXPRESSION showed enough acceleration on the flat to add to his qualities as a "big, staying type" in the words of his new trainer Gordon Elliott to bag the €50,000 champion bumper.

Elliott took over the training of the once-raced point-to-point winner from Denis Prendergast and watched as the 2-1 favourite slowly strung out his rivals up the long home straight under a forceful ride by Nina Carberry.

Clondaw Farmer stuck on well for second at 10-1 with Rock On Fruity third at 12-1.

Past winners of the race include Simonsig, Pandorama and Last Instalment so Free Expression's new owner, JP McManus, will be hoping his investment pays similar dividends.

Also on Easter Monday

Fairyhouse: John & Chich Fowler Memorial European Breeders Fund Mares Chase (Grade 3), 2m4f 5yo+

NICKY HENDERSON saddled a terrific 1-2 as Une Artiste held off last year's winner Nadiya De La Vega.

Victory for the 2-1 favourite provided Barry Geraghty with another triumph half an hour after success in the Irish Grand National.

Burn And Turn fared best of the home contingent taking third at 9-1.

Henderson said: "When Nadiya De La Vega won last year, I didn't come and I sat at home and cried. John and Chich were two of the greatest mates in the world. I knew after last year I had to be here.

"It's a great race to win and an emotional occasion. Ironically I had the one-two and Jessie (Harrington, sister of John Fowler, and whose husband John died recently) had the third. They're a wonderful family and I've known them for a very long time."

News Archive