Coquin Mans jumps the last under Ruby Walsh
©Healy Racing Photos
By Donal Murphy
Coquin Mans maintained his unbeaten record as he ran out an easy winner of the feature at Cork this afternoon, the Joe Walsh Memorial Hurdle.
Successful on his sole start in France, the son of Fragant Mix won on his debut for Willlie Mullins and owmer George Creighton at Limerick over Christmas.
He followed-up at Wexford in June, and was sent off the clear 9/10 favourite this afternoon.
Settled in second by Ruby Walsh, he improved into a share of the lead before the entrance to the straight.
He gained a narrow lead after the third last, and stretched clear before the final flight, going on to score by eight lengths.
Jaime Sommers finished second at 20/1 under Cathal Landers for Michael Bowe, while Marinero (8s to 6s on-course) was another eight lengths away in third for Davy Russell and Henry De Bromhead.
Ruby Walsh said afterwards: "The race was a step up from Wexford and he probably stepped up too. He jumped super, travelled well and loves a cut in the ground and it worked out nicely for him.
"He was also keen the last day and (today) that part didn't go to plan; the ones in front were slow at the first and I pinged it. I had intended on being behind them with a bit of cover but he had the ability to get away with it.
"I don't know what he is or where he is going and it's hard to put a handle on him really. He jumped super and you'd have to think he'd win a few chases."
The race had the a similar 1, 2, 3 as 2016, Willlie Mullins & Walsh winning, a Michael Bowe trained runner-up and Gigginstown also supplying the third-placed horses then and now.
R.A. Doyle, rider of Noble Inn (FR) trained by Mark Fahey, reported to the Clerk of Scales that his mount never handled the ground and was pulled up.
The Turf Club Veterinary Officer examined Noble Inn (FR), trained by Mark Fahey, at the request of the Stewards and reported the animal to be lame on his left fore leg and to have pulled his left fore shoe.
Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes