punchestown 12th Jan
Diakali and Paul Townend
(Healy Racing Photos)
With stablemate Dogora an absentee the four-year-old, an easy winner at Gowran on his jumps debut in November, was sent off the 1-2 favourite for the Visit punchestown.com For All Our Offers Juvenile Hurdle and went straight to the front under a confident Paul Townend.
He had Leopardstown winner Flaxen Flare, who did not jump fluently, in trouble from some way out and opened up between the final two flights to stretch well clear before coasting in with 28 lengths to spare.
Mullins completed a double when Leggy Lad's last-flight fall left Rockyaboya (4-1) clear in the Follow Us On Facebook & Twitter Handicap Hurdle, but Patrick Mullins had to work hard to fend off Paco Jack by a nose.
Owners Gigginstown House Stud had the finish to themselves in the Free Festival Ticket Upgrade Now On Hurdle and it was the Dessie Hughes-trained Si C'Etait Vrai (13-8) who proved strongest, leading all the way for Bryan Cooper and holding favourite Shrapnel by two and a quarter lengths.
Paul Nolan's lightly raced point-to-point winner Panther Claw (11-4 favourite) took the Amateur National For The Conyngham Cup Handicap Chase by two lengths under Mikey Fogarty but only after Current Resession fell two out when still holding every chance.
Robbie Power sent Madam Bovary (4-1) up to join the leaders four out in the Festival Hospitality From 99 Euros Beginners Chase and Jessie Harrington's mare gradually asserted to win by four and three-quarter lengths.
Connections of Gallant Oscar, which finished fourth in the opener at Punchestown today, found themselves in hot water when the raceday Stewards found they had used the racecourse as a training ground. The report reads: