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Final Approach and Paul Townend claim the MCR Hurdle Leopardstown 09.01.2011

Mullins in the money as Final lands MCR Hurdle

Report: Leopardstown, Sunday

MCR Hurdle (Grade B) 2m, 4yo+

WILLIE MULLINS was in the money again at Leopardstown when Final Approach - tipped by Pricewise in Sunday's Racing Post - led home a one-two for the champion trainer in the valuable MCR Hurdle under a cool ride from Paul Townend.

Pricewise's Tom Segal, who also advised Saturday's Welsh National winner Synchronised, highlighted Final Approach, who returned at 6-1, as a value pick at 14-1.

He, Mullins and Townend were rewarded as the Douglas Taylor-owned five-year-old crept into contention, taking over as the 26-runner field entered the home turn.

Although he stepped at the final hurdle, Final Approach ran on to win by two lengths from 16-1 shot and stablemate Call The Police.

The Joanna Morgan-trained Mutadarek was third at 25-1, while 33-1 shot Northern Alliance claimed fourth place.

A son of Pivotal, Final Approach has nowhad four starts over hurdles, winning twice.

"I told Paul to go down the inner and, luckily, he got all the breaks," Mullins said. "He probably got to the front too soon, but he stuck at it well."

Paul Townend - Galway - July 2008

Paul Townend: cool ride

  PICTURE: Caroline Norris  

Regarding future plans, Mullins added: "This was his Derby, as he's not a big horse and is not really a prospective chaser. We'll see what the handicapper does."

Call The Police, however, is set for a future over fences and Mullins said: "It was a hell of a good run. He'll stay over hurdles this season, but chasing will be his game and we might step him up in trip as well."

Prima Vista, the 7-2 favourite, failed to fire under Paul Carberry and finished seventh.

Trainer Noel Meade said: "Paul said he was never really travelling and maybe the race at Christmas took more out of him."

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