Jack Kennedy cajoles Outlander to Lexus Chase glory at Leopardstown

Vroum Vroum Mag wins Christmas Hurdle as Willie Mullins’ dominance continues

Outlander provided 17-year-old jockey Jack Kennedy with the biggest winner of his career in a thrilling Lexus Chase at Leopardstown.

Approaching the final fence, three Gigginstown House Stud-owned runners were in a line, with Bryan Cooper’s chosen mount Valseur Lido ahead of Outlander and Don Poli.

However, Valseur Lido's stamina gave way and while Ruby Walsh conjured a late run out of Djakadam, it was only good enough for third place as last year's winner Don Poli stuck on for second to give trainer Gordon Elliott a one-two in the Grade One.

Earlier Vroum Vroum Mag held off the late thrust of stablemate Clondaw Warrior to win the Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle, and claim another early treble for Willie Mullins at the festival.


The 8-15 favourite cruised through the race and looked set to win comfortably, but Ruby Walsh had to get serious in the last 100 yards as Clondaw Warrior, part-owned by the jockey’s wife and ridden by his sister, Katie, came with a rare rattle.

Vroum Vroum Mag eventually seized the day by a length and a quarter, with Snow Falcon another two and a half lengths back in third.

But for the final-flight fall of Shaneshill, who had made all the running but had been headed by the winner, it could have been a clean sweep for the white-hot Mullins.

The Mullins, Walsh combo continued its dominance of the Christmas period from the off on Wednesday when Montalbano justified odds-on favouritism in the At The Races Maiden Hurdle.

Useful on the level, the 8-11 favourite moved through the race smoothly for Walsh but was made to work quite hard to land the odds.

Black Key and Youcannotbeserious set the target, but Montalbano pulled clear of the latter to win by two and three-quarter lengths.

Mullins was narrowly denied another win when bottom weight and 5-1 joint-favourite Isleofhopendreams just failed to reel in Electric Concorde in the Pertemps Qualifier.

Trained by Jim Culloty, the 11-1 chance made much of the running under a good ride from David Mullins - who stole a couple of lengths approaching the last, and it was just enough as Isleofhopendreams was catching with every stride but failed by a head.

Bleu Et Rouge though produced a tremendous turn of foot to give Mullins his second winner of the day in the Ballymaloe Foods Beginners Chase.

A Grade One winner over hurdles last season, the JP McManus-owned five-year-old was heavily backed and went off the 6-4 favourite.

Several sloppy leaps left him adrift of the front five turning into the straight and Barry Geraghty briefly appeared to have accepted his fate.

However, his mount really picked up the bit and closed the gap in no time.

He still had plenty to do at the last as Gangster, formerly trained by Mullins and now with Henry de Bromhead, jumped to the front.

Bleu Et Rouge quickened smartly, though, and won going away by three-quarters of a length, with Don’t Touch It third.