Barnaviddaun (near side) alongside Damalisque
© Photo Healy Racing
Last month's Red Mills Final runner-up Barnaviddaun won the €40,000 Brown Lad Handicap Hurdle at Naas today as the Tom Mullins trained gelding landed a gamble and beat another, as he defeated the J.P. McManus owned runner-up Damalisque.
Barnaviddaun and McManus' French-import Damalisque (for trainer Eddie Harty) were both 10/1 chances for the 16-runner contest this morning and while Barnaviddaun was subsequently returned a well-supported 9/2 chance, Damalisque was even stronger and returned the 5/2 favourite.
Both horses were upsides jumping the final flight and on the run-in Barnaviddaun, under the trainer's son David Mullins, stayed on well for a half-length win.
Barnaviddaun carries the colours of owner Laura Graffin, wife of Turf Club Clerk-of-Courses and race-starter Paddy Graffin, joint-Leading Point-to-Point Jockey of 1990, and afterwards trainer Tom Mullins reported “he’s a fun horse for Pat and Laura (Graffin, owners) and it’s great to win this.
“I won this race with Oscar Knight (in 2017) and it’s a lovely race to win.”
He added “we were disappointed that he got 6lbs for (finishing second) the Red Mills race; he ran a cracker in it and I was wondering if he was good enough to come here.
“I was also worried about the ground as I thought that he’d appreciate better ground.
“He’ll be a grand chaser. We were going to go over fences this year and then we decided to keep going over hurdles with a big pot for the Red Mills. Then we said we’d keep going over hurdles until Christmas so I’m not sure what we’ll do now.”
Quotes from Alan Magee