Apt Approach & Paul Townend (right) on their way to victory with eventual third Earlson Gray on the left
©Healy Racing Photos
By Donal Murphy
Apt Approach got back to winning ways as he took the Follow Fairyhouse on Twitter Rated Hurdle under Paul Townend for Willie Mullins.
The 9yo son of Bob Back (second winner at Fairyhouse for that sire after Canaly) won three chases in-a-row last season but was then beaten on his subsequent three starts in high class contests.
Making his seasonal reappearance this afternoon and his first start over hurdles since May of 2009, he was sent off the 11/8 favourite.
He tracked the leaders in the early stages and made some jumping errors along the way. He went second at the second last and he was soon pushed along to lead.
He stayed on well under pressure from the last to score by a length at the line from Prince Rudi who ran a big race in second under Ian McCarthy for Stephen Nolan at 20/1.
The Dessie Hughes trained Earlson Gray finished a further three and three parts of a length back in third under Bryan Cooper at 7/2.
Willie Mullins said afterwards of his seven time winning gelding: "He was suited by conditions. I think he has only had two runs over hurdles and we will keep him over hurdles now if we can. We will try and find another conditions race for him next."
(Additional reporting by Gary Carson)