Racing from Thurles. Tully East wins beginners chase as Bachasson falls
Last Updated: 01/12/16 3:19pm
The news from Thurles, where there were mixed fortunes for a couple of Willie Mullins-trained hotpots.
Tully East claimed the Killinan Beginners Chase at Thurles as odds-on favourite Bachasson crashed out at the last at a fog-shrouded County Tipperary venue.
The Willie Mullins-trained Bachasson was Grade One-placed over hurdles last term and clearly expected to make an impact on his first attempt over the larger obstacles, being sent off the 8-15 market leader.
With viewing decidedly limited, Bachasson and Ruby Walsh was in the front rank from flag-fall but appeared to be starting to toil as the field disappeared from view before the final fence.
When the runners did emerge from the gloom, it was the Alan Fleming-trained Tully East who had assumed control and the 7/2 chance powered home under Denis O'Regan to claim a five-and-a-half-length verdict.
A Sizing Network finished second with 100/1 shot Sunchyme a further seven lengths back in third.
Tully East was last seen when finishing fourth in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival back in March, and Fleming could now send him to another high-profile meeting.
He said: "We're absolutely thrilled to be back on the board today and he's talented, that lad. I couldn't see it but Denis (O'Regan) was impressed with him and he jumped very well.
"He's entered in a Grade One at Leopardstown over Christmas, but I don't know where he'll go - we'll have a chat when we go home and see what happens."
Mullins and Walsh soon made amends, though, when the Rich Ricci-owned Riven Light (2/7 favourite) made a winning Irish debut in the Cahir Maiden Hurdle.
Twice a winner on the level in France, the four-year-old would have had a fight on his hands but for the final-flight fall of Gordon Elliott's Hardline.
Riven Light eventually coasted home 12 lengths clear of big outsider La Bella Vida.
Walsh said: "I don't know if I'd have won. Bryan (Cooper, Hardline's jockey) came to join me at the last and we'd both quickened really strongly.
"Obviously my horse was a Flat horse and Bryan's a bumper horse. Maybe his would have stayed better, it was unfortunate for him.
"I missed the first but jumped well after that and travelled really well. I had a lot of Flat speed so didn't see much point in making it a stamina test."
Mullins said: "I imagine two miles will be plenty for him and wouldn't feel the need to go up in trip with him - I think he'll have enough pace for two miles.
"He'll probably head towards Christmas and go for a nice novice somewhere next."
Riven Light was trimmed from 25/1 to 20/1 by the sponsors for the Sky Bet Supreme on the back of this success.
Spokesman Michael Shinners said: "The Rich Ricci Sky Bet Supreme candidates have been a bit slower to come to hand this year, however, Riven Light, who was very well-backed to win today, looks a useful recruit. It looked to me like he was just had the upper hand when Hardline fell and the Mullins horses all seem to be improving for a run."
Joseph O'Brien's Kalopsia was an easy winner of the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Hurdle, in which Mullins' even-money favourite Miss Me Now was very disappointing.
Last seen running on the all-weather at Dundalk, Kalopsia had won her maiden hurdle at Galway in October.
With Miss Me Now pulled up, Kalopsia saw off Monbeg Rose by 11 lengths under Mark Walsh.
Walsh said: "She surprised me there, the two in front went off too quick and set it up for us. She's improving, I was always confident."
O'Brien said: "Mark gave her a great ride and left them at it and sneaked around. He said going out that he'd take his time and pick up the pieces and it worked perfectly. He gave her a peach.
"She is getting the hang of jumping - she was a good bumper mare in fairness and has now won two hurdles. There is also a mile-and-a-half maiden at Dundalk in a couple of weeks and might also be worth her chance in a graded hurdle if the ground wasn't bottomless."
O'Brien also confirmed JCB Triumph Hurdle favourite Landofhopeandglory is set for his third outing over timber in the Bar One Racing Juvenile Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Sunday.
He added: "He runs and seems well."
Aussie Reigns was slightly fortunate to give Mullins and Walsh a double in the Holycross Maiden Hurdle.
A smart Flat performer for William Knight, he was a five-length second to the promising Avenir D'Une Vie on his hurdling debut just over a fortnight ago.
Sent off the 8/15 favourite to go one better, Walsh was working hard as Montana Bell clouted the last, costing herself the chance of a win.
Walsh said: "I didn't clear the top bar of the last by much, but he was brave. I found myself in a pocket I couldn't get out of and they were going too slow for me.
"My horse was a stayer on the Flat and I didn't want it to turn into a sprint, but he quickened really well in the straight."
Mullins said: "He was fortunate enough the other horse (Montana Belle) made a mistake at the last and I'd be going out in trip with him.
"I'm delighted to win over two miles, but he'd want another half-mile any day of the week. His best work will be going further."
Following his earlier spill from Hardline, Cooper was stood down for the afternoon with a sore forearm but did not need an X-ray. However, he must pass the doctor before taking his rides at Limerick on Friday.