Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle
|Grade 1, Punchestown 17:20
1 The Nice Guy 15/8F
2 Minella Cocooner 9/2
3 Meet And Greet 33/1
11 ran Distances: ¾l, 5½l, 14l
Time: 6m 9.60s (slow by 36.10s)
The Nice Guy will go chasing next season after winning the Grade 1 Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle for @PTownend— RacingBetter (@RacingBetter) April 28, 2022
and @WillieMullins @punchestownrace pic.twitter.com/WD7hLfUwfV https://t.co/0EJpAYRetf via @RacingBetter
Trained by Willie Mullins, The Nice Guy was sent off an unconsidered 18-1 chance in the Albert Bartlett and ridden by Sean O’Keeffe, but he saw off stable companion Minella Cocooner and the pair fought out the finish again.
Once again Minella Cocooner attempted to make all – but Paul Townend always had him in his sights and hit the front before the final flight.
While Minella Cocooner bravely fought back to within three-quarters of a length, the 15-8 favourite was always holding him and was cut to 6-1 from 8-1 by QuinnBet for next season’s Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase.
Mullins said: “He totally surprises us and wouldn’t win any sort of race at home on our gallop, but he loves it on grass on the track. He keeps surprising us.
“There is not a lot of condition on him, he’s a light-framed horse and doesn’t take much training. He’s a unique specimen in his own way. He’s the exact opposite of a morning glory. He does it in the afternoon, which is tremendous.
“I was a little surprised he went on at the second-last, but Paul said he didn’t want to get caught on the inside at the last bend. I think he was idling in front.
“The first two will go chasing next season.”
Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)
€125,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 3m, Class 1
Going: Good to Yielding, Yielding in places
POS. FORM HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY SP
1 The Nice Guy 7 11-10 W P Mullins Paul Townend 15/8F
2 ¾ Minella Cocooner 6 11-10 W P Mullins Danny Mullins 9/2
3 5½ Meet And Greet 6 11-10 Oliver McKiernan Barry Browne 33/1
4 14 Bronn 5 11-10 W P Mullins Daryl Jacob 20/1
5 7 Hollow Games 6 11-10 Gordon Elliott Davy Russell 10/1
6 13 Ramillies 7 11-10 W P Mullins B J Cooper 20/1
7 nk Journey With Me 6 11-10 Henry De Bromhead Rachael Blackmore 9/1
FELL Bardenstown Lad 7 11-10 John C McConnell Brian Hayes 16/1
PU Good Time Jonny 7 11-10 A J Martin Kevin Sexton 40/1
PU Minella Crooner 6 11-10 Gordon Elliott Jack Kennedy 4/1
PU Daily Present 5 11-10 Paul Nolan Sean O'Keeffe 28/1
Year Horse Age/Wt Owner Trainer Jockey SP
2021 Galopin Des Champs 5 11-11 Mrs Audrey Turley W P Mullins Paul Townend 13/8F
2020 Abandoned - Covid-19
2019 Minella Indo 6-11-10 Barry Maloney H De Bromhead Rachael Blackmore 5/1
2018 Next Destination 6-11-10 Malcolm C Denmark Willie Mullins Paul Townend 5/4F
2017 Champagne Classic 6-11-10 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott Bryan Cooper 14/1
2016 Bellshill 6-11-10 Andrea & Graham Wylie Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 2/1 Fav
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