Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle
Grade 1, Punchestown 16:55
€100,000 added,
4yo, 3m,
Class 1  
Wednesday 27th April 2016

1 Bellshill 2-1F
2 Coney Island 4-1
3 Sandymount Duke 14/1
NR: General Principle (IRE)
11 ran Distances: ½l, 3l, 1½l
TIME 6m 0.10s (slow by 24.10s)

Favourite Bellshill wins for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh

© Caroline Norris

Not everything has gone smoothly for Willie Mullins this week but he notched his first Grade 1 when Ruby Walsh delivered 2/1 favourite Bellshill late to take the Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle.

It was a first win at this year’s meeting for Walsh and Mullins said: “It was a very brave ride by Ruby. He had a lot of ground to make up from the stone wall. He sat and sat and hoped they’d gone too fast and it worked. It was brave because if Ruby had been beaten he would have been slated by everybody, including me!

“We had a winner and three seconds yesterday but they were running a bit below par. That’s why this win is a bit special. The horse loves this place. He’s very tough and we look forward to him going over fences next year. Three miles seems his best distance and he’ll be an RSA type.”

Ruby Walsh added: “Bellshill was tough, but pulled up like mad in front and I was thinking halfway up the run in that I might be in front too soon. It took us a while to figure out that he wanted a trip because he works so pacey at home. We seem to have it now.

“The trip didn’t bother me. I was only worried about the fact he had been to Cheltenham (Supreme Novices' Hurdle) and Aintree (Sefton Novices' Hurdle). He is just a very good horse and will be a beautiful chaser.”

Owner Graham Wylie added: “Going back to last year, Bellshill had a bad Cheltenham, came second at Aintree and won at Punchestown. This year, he had another bad Cheltenham when he was in the wrong race, he was second at Aintree and he won today. Given what happened yesterday with Yorkhill after two tough runs in Cheltenham and Aintree, I thought the same might happen today, but Bellshill is clearly a tough horse and did the business.

“Two miles was the wrong trip in Cheltenham and the Aintree run proved he is a three-mile horse. He will go novice chasing next season. He is a big horse and hopefully after a summer’s grass he will fill out a bit more and, if he stays injury free, run plenty of big races for me.”

Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)
€100,000 added, 4yo plus, 3m, Class 1
11 ran
Going: Good to Yielding

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Bellshill (IRE) 2/1f R Walsh
W P Mullins 6
2nd ½ Coney Island (IRE) 4/1 B J Geraghty
E P Harty 5
3rd 3 Sandymount Duke (IRE) 14/1 R M Power
Mrs J Harrington 7
4th Acapella Bourgeois (FR) 4/1 D J Mullins
M S Sandra Hughes 6
5th Gangster (FR) 14/1 P Townend
W P Mullins 6
6th 17 A Genie In Abottle (IRE) 25/1 S W Flanagan
N Meade 5
7th 7 Arkwrisht (FR) 33/1 D E Mullins
W P Mullins 6
PU Bigbadjohn (IRE) 25/1 T E Whelan
Miss R Curtis 7
PU Emerging Force (IRE) 6/1 G Sheehan
H Whittington 6
PU Stone Hard (IRE) 16/1 B J Cooper
W P Mullins 6
PU Thebarrowman (IRE) 16/1 D N Russell
A Keatley 6
NR General Principle (IRE) 14/1 B J Cooper
G Elliott 7


Year Horse Age/Wt Owner Trainer Jockey SP
2015 Killultagh Vic 6-11-10 Mrs R Boyd, Mrs M J Willie Mullins Paul Townend 8/1
Armstrong, J B Anderson
2014 Beat That 6-11-10 Michael Buckley Nicky Henderson GB Barry Geraghty 11/8 Fav
2013 Morning Assembly 6-11-10 Clipper Logistics Ltd Pat Fahy Davy Condon 14/1
2012 Marasonnien 6-11-10 Susannah Ricci Willie Mullins Paul Townend 12/1
2011 Askanna 6-11-01 John Asple Colin Bowe Mr Barry O’Neill 33/1
2010 Rigour Back Bob 5-11-07 Gaticoma Syndicate Edward O’Grady Barry Geraghty 6/1
2009 The Midnight Club 8-11-06 C C R Racing Syndicate Willie Mullins Emmet Mullins 7/4Fav
2008 Got Attitude 5-11-05 David Reid Scott Jessica Harrington Barry Geraghty 16/1