cork 5th Jan
Terminal (near side) and A Fine Young Man jump the last together
(Healy Racing Photos)
The veteran was still 15 lengths clear turning into the straight but his stride shortened and Blackstairmountain swept past on the run-in to beat Arnaud by three-quarters of a length, earning a trip to Japan for the Nakayama Grand Jump.
Mullins went on to a treble, doubling up when evens favourite Midnight Oil, who has been highly tried, showed his appreciation for lesser company when smoothly taking the McCarthy Insurance Group Maiden Hurdle by three and a quarter lengths in the hands of Davy Russell.
Terminal then made it three in the McCarthy Insurance Group Beginners Chase, though Townend had to work harder than the 1-2 starting price suggested would be the case before he got the better of A Fine Young Man by three and a half lengths.
Andrew Lynch held a prominent position throughout on the grey, who had made no show on his debut nine days earlier, and was never in danger after jumping ahead four out, winning by two and three-quarter lengths.
Hot favourite Saoirse Dun was an early faller in the McCarthy Insurance Group Handicap Chase and at the business end Sean O'Brien's bottom-weight Wilde Wit Pleasure (8-1), blinkered for the first time, got away from the last quicker than Jack Bene and won by two lengths under Davy Condon.
The winner's stablemate Golantilla (7-4 favourite) cleared away for an impressive 13-length victory in the McCarthy Insurance Group INH Flat Race.
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