Shaneshill returns to winning ways at Gowran Park

Willie Mullins’ eight-year-old holds off Snow Falcon and stablemate Clondaw Warrior

Shaneshill took the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park on Thursday. Photograph: Inpho/James Crombie

Shaneshill took the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park on Thursday. Photograph: Inpho/James Crombie

 

The ultra-consistent Shaneshill got back on the winning trail in the John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park.

Since his last victory in a novice chase at Naas over a year ago, the Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old has been placed on multiple occasions at Grade One level both over hurdles and fences.

He was in the process of running another solid race when suffering a heavy fall at the final flight in the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown last month and was 9-4 for his latest assignment.

Milsean took the six-strong field along during the early stages, but came to grief with over a circuit still to run, leaving Shaneshill and Dedigout at the head of affairs.

Dedigout weakened rapidly before the home turn, with Shaneshill in front of stable companion Clondaw Warrior, Noel Meade’s Snow Falcon and the Gordon Elliott-trained De Plotting Shed.

Snow Falcon tried to make a race of it and the patiently-ridden Clondaw Warrior was delivered with his challenge by Ruby Walsh, but Shaneshill passed the post three-quarters of a length to the good.

Christmas Hurdle placings were reversed with Snow Falcon, third at Leopardstown, beating Leopardstown runner-up Clondaw Warrior to second.

Mullins said: “He’s improving. Funnily enough Paul (Townend) thought the nicer ground suited him and Ruby thought the soft ground was too soft for Clondaw Warrior.

“He jumped fantastic. He got a good lead early in the race and made sure it was a good pace, which is what he wants. The race was run to suit him.

“I’d imagine the Stayers’ Hurdle would be his owner’s preferred option. He couldn’t do any more than win here. We’ll have a look, but I’d imagine that’s what the plans will be.

“I’m disappointed with Clondaw Warrior as I think he’s better than that and I think better ground will suit him better as well.

“Looking at his legs he had muck right up to his fetlocks. I’d say he was digging into it and it wasn’t suiting him.

“I’d say it’ll be Cheltenham with him. I don’t think he’ll be going to Dubai.

“I think he’ll improve from that. Even though he’s had all those runs, he looks big. He’s a horse that does himself very well.”

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