Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle
Grade 1, Punchestown 17:20
€125,000 guaranteed,
4yo, 3m,
Class 1   
Wednesday 26th April 2023


1 Gaelic Warrior 4/5F
2 Affordale Fury 6/1
3 Franciscan Rock 80/1
4 Favori De Champdou 16/1
9 ran Distances: 10l, 6l, shd
Time: 6m 10.20s (slow by 36.70s)

Stepped up to three miles for the first time, the Willie Mullins-trained Gaelic Warrior proved in a different league to his rivals, strolling to a 10-length victory under Paul Townend.

Last seen finishing second to stablemate Impaire Et Passe in the Ballymore at Cheltenham, earlier in the season he had won one a highly-competitive handicap over two miles at the Dublin Racing Festival.

Gordon Elliott’s Favori De Champdou had ensured the race was run at a true enough pace and approaching the second-last flight he was still in front with the Mouse Morris-trained Franciscan Rock and Noel Meade’s Affordale Fury ready to pounce.

Just in behind, though, was Townend who was sitting motionless and biding his time.

Gaelic Warrior hit the front on the run to the last and Townend only pushed him out with hands and heels to claim an easy victory.

His only two defeats since joining Mullins have come at the last two Cheltenham Festivals.


“The trip was a big help to him. I was hoping the ground would be a help to him, but Paul thinks it wasn’t,” said Mullins.

“I think the trip was a lot of it and Paul was once again ice cool, sitting in behind a wall of horses waiting for the right gap to come and he produced him at the right time.

“He must come into staying hurdle territory now after that. He has the option of going chasing, but we’d have to have a good look at keeping him over hurdles. That looks to be his job there.

“We’ll get home and think about it but what I saw there, the way he improved going that extra trip, he looks to have the Stayers’ Hurdle written all over him.

“He does jump a bit right but those type of horses always settled the more racing they get, he’ll get the hang of it.”

Townend said: “When they rushed around me, they were committed at that stage so I was happy to see that happening.

“He settled like a dream and that was the key early on.

“Going that way is a huge help because you make him keen by trying to keep him straight.”

Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)
€125,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 3m, Class 1
9 ran
Going: Yielding

1    Gaelic Warrior 5 11-10 W P Mullins Paul Townend 4/5F
10 Affordale Fury 5 11-10 Noel Meade Danny McMenamin 6/1
6 Franciscan Rock 6 11-10 M F Morris Ricky Doyle 80/1
shd Favori De Champdou 8 11-10 Gordon Elliott Harry Cobden 16/1
Kalanisi Star 6 11-10 Oliver McKiernan Phillip Enright 50/1
4 Embassy Gardens 7 11-10 W P Mullins Danny Mullins 13/2
shd Harry Des Ongrais 6 11-10 Henry De Bromhead Rachael Blackmore 40/1
¾ Whatcouldhavebeen 17 5 11-3 Jarlath P Fahey Sean Flanagan 18/1
PU Salvador Ziggy 7 11-10 Gordon Elliott Mark Walsh 5/1

Free Racing Tips


Year Horse Age/Wt Owner Trainer Jockey SP
2022 The Nice Guy 7 11-10 Malcolm C Denmark W P Mullins Paul Townend 15/8F
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

Odds catcher