Another good leap from Tarla under Ruby Walsh at Clonmel
©Healy Racing Photos
Racegoers at Clonmel barely had their breath back after Sizing Europe's demolition of his feature race rivals. Half-an-hour on Ruby Walsh brought up a double (earlier a winner on Quietly Fancied) when Tarla ran out a most impressive winner on her chasing bow in the Grade 3 EBF T.A. Morris Memorial Mares Chase.
The 11/8 chance made all and she asserted from before two out on the way to an eight length success over the nicely-backed Our Girl Salley.
Tarla's main market-rival, Knockfierna had no chance after being hampered at the fifth last and she eventually came home in sixth place.
After Blazing Tempo's wins in this contest in 2010 and 2011, Tarla's victory was bringing up a three-in-a-row in the two and a half miler for winning owner Susannah Ricci and trainer Willie Mullins.
Mullins said: "She was very good and she had looked a natural at home. When she won over hurdles at Punchestown it looked as though fences would be no problem. We schooled her then and she looked as good as she was out there.
"She is very quick, even when she was a little wrong at a fence. We'll mix-it between hurdles and fences now.
"There is a bit more prize-money over fences. Trying to keep her sound will be the hard thing.
"She was off the track for two years so the worry is to see if she's sound in the morning.
"The Grade 1 (an event that has been up-graded from Grade 2 status) at Punchestown is her end of season target.
"There was another mares race upgraded at Fairyhouse and they are a nice addition to the programme."
As regards the health of his string, the champion trainer remarked: "Whatever was there seems to be gone now but we had a few horses coughing and it slowed things down for about ten days. We got some of the fillies that were coughing out of the yard.
"We've been able to kick on in the last ten days." (TW & EM)