Mullins can make Naas mark

Turnandgo looks exciting hurdling recruit


Simenon’s admirable fourth in the Melbourne Cup during the week may have been an exciting change of pace for Willie Mullins but today’s Naas fixture could see the champion trainer resume his customary dominance of Ireland’s National Hunt scene with a vengeance.

Mullins sends five horses to Naas and all five appear to have convincing claims to win. It might not provide as lucrative a dividend as when Mullins saddled a five-timer on Day Three of the Punchestown festival last April but it would be significant in terms of the strength in depth that’s waiting to be unleashed from Closutton now that ground conditions are turning softer.

Diakali for instance is a Grade One winner from Auteuil in June and although he has to cope with Wednesday’s impressive Fairyhouse scorer Mr Fiftyone in the Fishery Lane Hurdle the task is hardly beyond him.

Turnandgo looked a hugely exciting prospect when beating Captain Cutter in a Punchestown bumper last April and makes his hurdling debut today while Clonard Lad was only just edged out by Apache Stronghold last time. Rupert Lamb should like the trip in the opener while Shaneshill has his first run for Mullins in the bumper.