punchestown 17th Nov
Mikael D'Haguenet not surprisingly came to a standstill after this slither on landing at the last
Mikael D'Haguenet snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the Punchestown Gift Vouchers For Christmas Beginners Chase.
Paul Townend did a remarkable job to stay in the saddle, but 11-1 chance El Fontan went past him andp>Mikael D'Haguenet couldn't get going again in time, eventually losing by two and three-quarter lengths.
Townend was hard at work on the dual Royal Ascot winner early in the straight and he was already beaten when ploughing through the last, as the Gordon Elliott-trained Un Beau Matin (7-1) registered a two-and-a-half-length verdict.
There was better fortune for fellow classy Flat performer as Dessie Hughes' Minsk made it second-time lucky over timber, seeing off the previously unbeaten Glens Melody - another Mullins runner - by eight and a half lengths as the 4-9 favourite in the www.punchestown.com Maiden Hurdle.
The champion trainer finally got a winner on the board when Clondaw Court created a massive impression in the Racing At Punchestown Tomorrow (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race.
Grange continued his upward profile by justifying 7-4 favouritism in the Follow Punchestown On Facebook Novice Handicap Hurdle.
Tarquinius (6-4 favourite) jumped left at times but still managed to win his first race since joining Elliott in the 10 Euro Admission Handicap Chase, but his jockey Davy Condon had to settle for second when Dayrina couldn't match the turn of foot shown by odds-on favourite Money Spider in the Ballymore GAA Christmas Fair & Family Fun Day 3-Y-O Hurdle.
The betting told you all you needed to know about the www.punchestown.com Maiden Hurdle and on this occasion the market was spot-on as Minsk accounted for Glens Melody by eight and a half lengths to bring up a double for Dessie Hughes and Bryan Cooper, earlier on the mark with the lucky El Fontan in the opener.