Graded Treble For Mullins At Cork

Willie Mullins trained the winners of all three graded races at Cork today. The champion trainer kept up his good record in the Kerry Group Hilly Way Chase, a Grade 2 contest, when Felix Yonger won after a terrific finish to the race. It looked like Mallowney had the race sewn up as they approached the last fence but Danny Mullins conjured a power-packed finish from the 100-30 winner to get up in the shadow of the post. The Grade 3 Kerry Group Stayers Novice Hurdle was less dramatic but showed that Black Hercules, a talented bumper horse last season, will be a force to be reckoned with over hurdles too. He was sent off the 4-7 favourite and had more then enough in reserve to win by over two lengths from Alpa Des Obeaux. Paul Townend rode the winner for Mullins, and the horse completed a big race double for owners Graham and Andrea Wylie. Mullins’ treble came up with the minimum of fuss in the Kerry Group EBF Mares Novice Chase. Sent off the 1-4 favourite, Vroum Vroum Mag survived a little error at the second last fence but coasted home in the hands of Townend to remain unbeaten in her two races in Ireland. THE Gordon Elliott-trained Don Cossack stormed to success in the Grade 1 John Durkan Chase at Punchestown today, with last season’s Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere making a fine return to action in third. Ridden by Brian O’Connell who was deputising for the suspended Bryan Cooper, Don Cossack stormed up the run-in having made most of the running and had four and a half lengths to spare over 11-10 favourite Boston Bob at the line. Don Cossack was cut to 8-1 for the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival by Boylesports and Paddy Power afterwards.