Willie Mullins-trained Bellshill impresses at Limerick

Bellshill was just one of three winners at the Patrickswell circuit for the champion trainer

It was a good day for Willie Mullins with trebles at Limerick and Leopardstown. Photograph: Inpho

It was a good day for Willie Mullins with trebles at Limerick and Leopardstown. Photograph: Inpho

 

Bellshill continued his progression over fences with victory in the Shannon Airport Novice Chase at Limerick.

The Willie Mullins-trained six-year-old struck Grade One gold as a novice hurdler at Punchestown last season and made a winning start in his new discipline at Gowran Park last month.

Sent off the 4-9 favourite stepping up to Grade Two company, Paul Townend had very little cause for concern throughout, taking closer order from two out after sitting in third or fourth through the early stages.

Taking control between the last two fences, the market leader eventually passed the line an impressive three and a quarter lengths scorer from stablemate Haymount.

Townend said: “It was a good performance — we didn’t fly and picked up well off the bend. We winged the second-last and put it to bed from there.

“He missed one up the back, but is a novice and on the whole it was a decent performance.

“It (the ground) is hard work, but the chase course didn’t ride as soft as the hurdle course.”

Mullins was at Leopardstown, where he said: “I loved the way Bellshill was asleep in behind and, once he got a glimpse at the second-last he showed plenty of pace to win. He couldn’t have done much more.

“Haymount jumped fantastic.”

RaceBets quote the winner at 11-2 from 8-1 for the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Bellshill was just one of three winners at the Patrickswell circuit for the champion trainer.

Bravissimo (6-4 favourite) made the perfect start to his Irish career in the FutureTicketing.ie Maiden Hurdle under Townend, before Miss Sapphire obliged as the 4-11 favourite in the Lyons Of Limerick Jaguar & Land Rover Mares Flat Race in the hands of Patrick Mullins.

Townend said of Bravissimo: “He did it well and jumped great. He travelled super throughout, but was in front long enough on that ground.

“He got the business done nicely.”

The Andrew McNamara-trained Val De Ferbet was a fortuitous winner of the Signsplus Hurdle.

The 7-1 shot looked booked for minor honours until Runfordave crashed out at the second-last.

McNamara said: “We were settling for a nice run going to the second-last but we were lucky to win — although my mother says you should never apologise for being lucky!

“Today was the plan and while he is in on New Year’s Eve, he has had a hard enough race there and won’t go.”

American-based jockey Sean McDermott steered Val De Ferbet to victory and went on to complete a double aboard Pat Fahy’s Head Turner (12-1) in the O’Kelly Brothers Demolition Mares Handicap Hurdle.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.