Minella Indo confirms Cheltenham superiority over Allaho
Rachael Blackmore secures Grade One win on Henry de Bromhead-trained horse
Rachel Blackmore riding Minella Indo clear the last to win The Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle at Punchestown. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Minella Indo confirmed his Cheltenham superiority over Allaho as he landed the Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle at Punchestown.
First and third in the Albert Bartlett in March, Allaho attempted to make all under Ruby Walsh in a change of tactics from Cheltenham and jumping the second last, it appeared he was going better than Minella Indo.
However, turning into the straight Rachael Blackmore pulled Henry de Bromhead’s charge out for a challenge and he quickened up smartly, shooting clear of Allaho to prove his Cheltenham win was no fluke at odds of 5-1.
Carefully Selected came from out of the pack to close into third, but Minella Indo ran out a two-length winner.
“I thought turning in Ruby had us all gone, but he just stays so well,” said De Bromhead.
“Rachael said as soon as she pulled him out, he took off and he pricked his ears coming to the last.
“It’s lovely to come here and win this on top of the Albert Bartlett. I’m a bit lost for words to be honest, just delighted.
“Chasing is the plan next season. That’s what he was bought to do, he won a point-to-point, and that will be the plan.”
When asked if the RSA Chase would be the target next year, the trainer added: “We’ll see, he’s hopefully that calibre but obviously he has to take to fences.
“If he does, that’s the kind of stuff we’ll be aiming for.
“It’s fantastic to win a Grade One here. I’m delighted for the lads and delighted for Rachael – she’s just riding out of her skin.”