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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Dance off as Kate steps more lively in Fairyhouse showdown

Willie Mullins: managed to successfully defend his trainers' title
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They think it's all over, it's not now! Gordon Elliott brought a €362,699 lead into these three vital days at Fairyhouse but a chunk was taken out of that advantage here as Willie Mullins sent out a 1-2-4-6 and pocketed €86,000. The pacesetter picked up €10,000 thanks to the third-placed Barra. 

Mullins won - most presumed he would - but it was not with 8-13 shot Let's Dance as she was gunned down late by a determined Augusta Kate and David Mullins, who prevailed by half a length. There were six lengths back to Barra in third. 

Augusta Kate was beaten 26 lengths into sixth by stablemate Penhill in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham, but Mullins thinks we did not see the real Augusta Kate there. He is most certainly right.

"She wasn’t happy with the gear we had on her at Cheltenham," he said. "We took off the chifney and ear plugs, and it seems to have suited her a lot better.

"She flattened the last and doesn't know how to jump at that speed and still picked up. She's improved a lot and hopefully there is more to come.

"We’ll see how they come out of that before deciding about Punchestown. She probably learned from Cheltenham, and maybe that is a better trip for her."

On Let's Dance, Mullins said: "She came to win her race and had no real excuses. She didn't seem as happy throughout the race as I would have hoped but still came through with what looked a winning run."

For David Mullins, this as a second Grade 1 success of the season, but he did not not think that would be the case at halfway.

"She was great but I didn't know what to think most of the way around," the jockey admitted. "She is not much to look at, and she was not much to ride for most of the race either. But after a mile and a half I gave her a squeeze and she came up underneath me.

"Her jumping gradually got better and she learnt from Naas not to go for a big one at the last. I was confident the whole way down to the last and I saw a lovely stride, but she saw another one! She did it well though, and it's great to win another Grade 1." 

British raider Colin's Sister finished fifth of seven for trainer Fergal O'Brien.

Result and analysis

She is not much to look at and she was not much to ride for most of the race either.
E.W. Terms
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