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Colreevy produces late surge to seal thrilling Grade 1 victory for Danny Mullins

Colreevy and Danny Mullins return after winning the Grade 1 Faugheen Novice Chase at Limerick
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Willie Mullins once again demonstrated that being mob-handed in races like this has its benefits, as the Danny Mullins-ridden Colreevy picked up the pieces left by the fall of stablemate and favourite Asterion Forlonge to land the third running of this race as a Grade 1.

It is a race that Mullins and Gordon Elliott have dominated since it became a Grade 1 two years ago, and the third year in a row that they have finished first and second.

Watch Colreevy's late surge to win the Faugheen Novice Chase

Mullins got the better of the argument for the second straight year after Faugheen's defeat of Samcro a year ago.

The race seemed to be going to plan for Paul Townend on Asterion Forlonge. His jumping had been fluent until a novicey mistake five out, his first of the race, left him on the floor, a fall from which horse and rider emerged unscathed.

It opened things up to the extent that three of the four could have won it turning in despite some jumping that was less than fluent in testing ground.

Elliott's charge Pencilfulloflead under Keith Donoghue appeared to have taken command between the final two fences, but that was without reckoning with the finishing burst Danny Mullins got from Colreevy.

Danny Mullins: "She's not a fast mare but she's very tough"

The mare stayed on resolutely to get up on the line for a half-length success after a blunder two out appeared to have scuppered her chances.

It was a second Grade 1 success for the daughter of Flemensfirth, bred and owned by the Flynn family, after she landed the Grade 1 Champion Bumper at Punchestown in 2019.

The rider said: “That was a good performance. She was always very good to jump at home from day one. The aim today was a clear round and hopefully we would be in the mix over the last two. I knew she would keep galloping. She's not a fast mare but she's very tough.”

“When Paul fell it opened things up, but it was not going to be easy. She's a grand mare and there is a good programme for mares like her. It's great for the Flynns too, they will breed from her eventually and she is now a Grade 1 bumper and chase winner.”

“He was beaten by a good mare on the day but I thought she outbattled us,” was the candid assessment of the runner-up's rider Donoghue.

Results, replays and analysis

Saturday's reports and reaction:

'We've just won the King George!' – Frodon and Bryony Frost light up Kempton

Members' Club: it's Queen Bryony in the King George as Frost ends our horrid year in happiness

Saturday reaction: 'Epatante has given hope to those thinking of taking her on'

Members' Club: 'Bryony Frost's tactics were superb' – how the star jockey won the King George

Silver Streak gains deserved Grade 1 win in Christmas Hurdle as Epatante falters

Jumping wins the day as Shan Blue leaves Skelton brothers purring in Kauto Star

Mick Appleby: 'It's very sad – Big Country was a great servant to the yard'

Triumph Hurdle favourite Zanahiyr passes Christmas test with flying colours

Cool Bryan Cooper collects 36th Grade 1 on Franco De Port for surprised Mullins

Stenson makes most of opportunity on Diol Ker to get off the mark for Meade

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I knew she would keep galloping. She's not a fast mare but she's very tough
E.W. Terms