clonmel 7th Feb
Inish Island (left) leads Venture Capital at the last
(Healy Racing Photos)
Inish Island went on trial for the Albert Bartlett in Clonmel's Surehaul Mercedes-Benz Novice Hurdle and the 11-10 market leader rewarded his supporters on what proved a profitable day for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh.
The form of his Cheltenham second behind At Fishers Cross looked the best on offer in the build-up to this Grade Three and it would come as no surprise if the pair renewed their rivalry at the Festival next month following his two-length defeat of Venture Capital.
Sarabad (7-4 joint-favourite) got off the mark for Mullins and Walsh in the Surehaul Race Day Maiden Hurdle.
Walsh made it a true test of stamina from the front and had the well-supported Lughnasa struggling when she came to grief at the penultimate flight.
Annie Power's performance in the Kilsheelan Mares Hurdle was arguably the best of the day and backers of the 1-3 favourite were never in trouble as she maintained her unbeaten record by six and a half lengths.
Call The Police (5-6 favourite) had restored some confidence when scoring at Thurles last month and he completed a four-timer for Mullins and Walsh in the Derrygrath Chase.
He has entries in the Ryanair Chase and the Grand National, and Walsh was again seen at his brilliant best when producing the son of Accordion late in the day to beat a rallying Magnanimity by three and a half lengths.
Whiskey And Rye (4-1 favourite) piled more misery on the bookmakers in the Minorstown Handicap Hurdle.
Savello (3-1) landed the Kilmolash Beginners Chase for Tony Martin and Davy Russell, while the Woodrooff Maiden Hunters Chase saw Ibetellingyoualie (14-1) send his supporters home smiling for Terence O'Brien and Pat Collins.
Ibetellingyoualie stretched clear in good style in the closing stages to land the concluding maiden hunters chase at Clonmel this afternoon.