Marasonnien leads home Mullins 1-2-3 in Grade 1
Report: Punchestown, Wednesday
Irish Daily Mirror War Of Attrition Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m, 4yo+
MARASONNIEN led home a memorable 1-2-3 for trainer Willie Mullins and owners Rich and Susannah Ricci when seeing off stablemates Vesper Bell and Sous Les Cieux to score for jockey Paul Townend.
The 12-1 winner travelled well into the straight and quickened up smartly to take lead before the last. Vesper Bell, who disputed the running for most of the race, took second ahead of 7-2 favourite Sous Les Cieux.
Mullins said: "I wouldn't have thought I've done that before and the owner has done it as well."
"They are three stayers, just the sort of horse I try to buy. I wouldn't have thought Marasonnien was the best of them beforehand but it looks that way now.
He isn't the prettiest but he came from the same trainer as Mikael D'Haguenet and he had the same form so I couldn't leave him behind. I'm looking forward to going chasing with him and the other two."
The race, which took place in miserable conditions, was run at a sedate pace and Vesper Bell, My Murphy, Castle Wings and Spring Heeled all duelled for the lead down the back straight.
Sous Les Cieux was anchored at the rear by Ruby Walsh as Ipsos Du Berlais and Jetson were more prominent in midfield.
As My Murphy and Ipsos Du Berlais backtracked as the field approached the home straight, Sous Les Cieux began to scythe through the pack as Cootamundra looked a huge danger to his two stablemates in third.
Jetson, who had travelled well for Robbie Power, was the next to crack and Marasonnien cleared away for Townend, with Cootamundra failing to pick up in the home straight.
Townend, who crossed the line with three pairs of goggles dangling from his neck, added:: "It was a slog but he's come off the best and he's done it nicely."