Review of action from Sunday meeting at Fairyhouse
Last Updated: 14/01/18 4:27pm
Mitchouka defied a penalty to beat stablemate Veneer Of Charm in the Promote Your Business At Fairyhouse In 2018 Hurdle.
The winner was paying a compliment to Gavin Cromwell's juvenile Espoir D'Allen, who has beaten Mitchouka on his last two outings.
Nevertheless, Gordon Elliott's four-year-old was winning for the third time this season and the even-money favourite came home eight lengths clear of his stable companion under Davy Russell.
Elliott said: "He's a grand, honest horse and hasn't done anything wrong all year.
"He's probably a horse more for the Fred Winter but as long as he keeps picking up prize-money we're happy.
"The Fred Winter is only about half a stone between top and bottom now, and you can't be clever in handicaps there anymore because you won't get in if you are.
"He'll be entered in Leopardstown (Grade One Spring Juvenile Hurdle) and we'll see where we go."
Danny Hand was seen to good effect on Dermot McLoughlin's Dromore Lad, who registered a fourth win of the season in the Fairyhouse Members 2018 Handicap Hurdle.
The 3-1 favourite was all out to beat Barry Geraghty and Fitzhenry by a head.
"He's improving obviously and Danny said it's the best he's jumped," said McLoughlin.
"It was a competitive race. They went a good gallop and he stayed going well. He's gutsy and has a really good attitude. He's won over two and a half (miles), and three miles is obviously his trip."Grade One-winning hurdler Saturnas had to work hard to land the odds in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase.Willie Mullins' 8-11 favourite looked beaten going to the second-last, with De Plotting Shed still travelling strongly for Russell.However, Paul Townend switched his mount from one side of the track to the other and Saturnas quickened up.Mullins' inmate drew level just before the last and came home a length and a quarter clear after a big leap at the final fence."I thought he might be one of our two-milers this year but, looking at that, he needs further," said Mullins."I was hoping he'd be a Grade One horse (over fences) but looking at that it will be quite a climb."The closing bumper was fought out between Mullins and Elliott, with Tornado Flyer (even-money favourite) just holding on from Getaway John to give the former a double.Mullins said: "Hurricane Fly is in his pedigree and he showed that kind of toughness, especially in the last 200 yards."He'll go for a winners' bumper."