limerick 23rd Jan
The Paparrazi Kid (Ruby Walsh) clears the last
(Healy Racing Photos)
Willie Mullins' gelding was making it fourth time lucky over timber after a string of frustratings seconds and got out of the habit with a nine-length triumph.
The six-year-old's hurdling wasn't without mistakes but his class shone through as he sauntered into the lead turning for home and he only had to be kept up to his work to see off Davy From Milan.
Mullins teamed up to good effect with his son, Patrick, as Immediate Response (8-11) made a winning start over fences in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase.
Townend made stealthy headway from the rear of the field on Sinead O'Sullivan's mare and brought her down the centre of the track to tackle long-time leader Goodtime Boy.
A fine leap at the last sealed the spoils and she held runner-up Supreme Bob two and a quarter lengths at bay.
Having slipped up on the flat in a Tramore chase on New Year's Eve, Ponmeword made amends with a convincing win back over timber in the Sporting Limerick Handicap Hurdle.
The excitement, the tension, the anticipation, the thrill of a BIG win - just some of the things that make the Casino a playground to rival the racetrack.