Itsonlyrocknroll (right) is driven out by Patrick Mullins
©Healy Racing Photos
By Alan Magee
Champion trainer Willie Mullins scored with his only runner on the card as Itsonlyrocknroll landed the Clonmel INH Flat Race.
Patrick Mullins made nearly all the running on the Shantou gelding, placed on his previous two outings this summer at Sligo and Kilbeggan, and he made a point of keeping the 6/1 chance wide in search of better ground.
The five-year-old kept on strongly inside the final furlong and had two lengths to spare at the line over the well-backed 13/8 favourite Rakhine State, with Allardyce another four and a half lengths away in third.
Patrick Mullins said, "He has always worked very well but it has just taken him this long to get fit. He's a big horse and is very hard on himself at home as he's quite keen. We were always minding him because of that but when he got beaten twice we trained him harder and it has made the difference."
"There's a story of when my father went around on the road here (race-riding) one day and that's why they have the red and white markers up. I didn't quite go down the road but wasn't far off it! So I don't know if it was soft ground made the difference to him today.
"I was disappointed with him in his first two runs but it was great to get that on the board and we'll see what Willie wants to do now. At least he's starting to do on the track what he does at home."
(TW & AM)