Balnaslow awarded bumper after inquiry
Report: Fairyhouse, Monday
Racing Post Champion Point-To-Point INH Flat Race 2m2f 4-6yo
LEADING owner Michael O'Leary saved himself €150,000 after connections of Balnaslow turned down his offer after the five-year-old was awarded a race in which O'Leary's Rogue Angel had passed the post first.
Ryanair boss O'Leary, whose string run under the Gigginstown House Stud banner, had been due to make a bid to buy the winner of the Racing Post-backed contest provided he was aged four or five.
It looked like no offer was needed as 12-1 shot Rogue Angel beat Balnaslow in a tight finish but the pair came together in the closing stages and the stewards reversed the placings.
Mr Watson was third at 25-1 while longtime leader and odds-on favourite Teelin Star faded quickly.
Patrick Mullins, riding Balnaslow for his father Willie Mullins, said: "He was very professional with the way he settled and he was very tough to come back after being bumped.
"We knew he was better than he had shown in point-to-points and we wanted everyone to see that."
The race has produced some smart horses, including last year's winner Simonsig who went on to land the Grade 1 Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham last month.
Asked if he would accept O'Leary's €100,000 offer 12 months ago, Simonsig's owner Ronnie Bartlett said: "Do you want to put another zero on that?"
Last Instalment and Pandorama are other top-class horses to have won the race in recent years.