Skip to content

WillowWarm Gold Cup: Spillane's Tower rolls back the years for Jimmy Mangan team in Fairyhouse feature

Spillane's Tower gave the Jimmy Mangan team a deserved Grade One success with Mark Walsh in the saddle; he powered clear of Tactical Move, who made a final-fence mistake; favourite Blood Destiny was back in third for Paul Townend and Willie Mullins

Spillane's Tower (left) jumps the last whilst Tactical Move (right) makes a mistake with Danny Mullins in the saddle
Image: Spillane's Tower (left) jumps the last while Tactical Move (right) makes a mistake with Danny Mullins in the saddle

Spillane's Tower put Grand National-winning trainer Jimmy Mangan back in the big-race winner's enclosure after claiming the WillowWarm Gold Cup at Fairyhouse.

The County Cork handler saddled Monty's Pass to win the world's most famous steeplechase in 2003, while his only previous Grade One success came in this race five years later with Conna Castle.

The JP McManus-owned Spillane's Tower had won two of his five previous outings over fences, including a Grade Three at Punchestown, before finding the reopposing Bloody Destiny too strong in the Flyingbolt Novice Chase at Navan four weeks ago.

Spillane's Tower and Mark Walsh power on to victory at Fairyhouse
Image: Spillane's Tower and Mark Walsh power on to victory at Fairyhouse

Bloody Destiny was the marginal favourite to confirm his superiority at 6-4, but 7-4 shot Spillane's Tower took his revenge in the hands of Mark Walsh, travelling strongly for much of the two-and-half-mile contest before knuckling down to score by a length and three-quarters.

Tactical Move beat his Willie Mullins-trained stablemate Blood Destiny to the runner-up spot.

Mangan said: "From day one we've liked this horse and he's taken to fences really well. I'm so delighted for the lads at home in the yard, Pat Murphy rides him every day, and the McManus family for sending him to me.

"We only have about a dozen horses and most of them are pointers. This horse is only a six-year-old and his future is ahead of him. When the ground dries, he'll go home to Martinstown and next year will be the plan.

Also See:

Follow Sky Sports Racing on Twitter
Follow Sky Sports Racing on Twitter

See the latest horse racing news, interviews and features from Sky Sports Racing

"I couldn't see why he wouldn't stay three miles, but that will be for next year. He's by a great sire in Walk In The Park.

"I spoke to Jody Townend and she said the ground is a bit tacky, more so on the hurdle course than the chase, so I was happy enough.

"Willie is an incredible trainer and a gentleman into the bargain. He even wished me well before the race today and vice versa, I wished him well."

Around Sky