Anonis Scores On Hurdling Debut

Wed 26th Dec 2012, 13:20

Mag Mullins, Danny Mullins and Barry Connell after the success of Anonis
©Healy Racing Photos
By Donal Murphy
The Mag Mullins trained Anonis showed great battling qualities as he fought back to beat The Paparrazi Kid in the second at Leopardstown, the Download Free Racing Post App Maiden Hurdle.

Ridden by her son Danny, the 6yo Germany bred son of Tiger Hill, sprang a surprise at Cheltenham last time out when he won a Listed bumper there at 25/1.

Sent off at just 11/4 this afternoon (was the 2/1 favourite this morning with Paddy Powers), he made virtually all, despite attempting to refuse at the fourth.

He was headed briefly approaching the last by the runner-up but he regained the lead on the early run-in and he stayed on well from there to score by a length and three parts.

< The Paparrazi Kid had to settle for second under Paul Townend for Willie Mullins at 7/2 while Operating was a further half a length back in third at 4/1 for Robbie Power and Jessica Harrington.

The Dermot Weld trained Expanding Universe was sent off the 5/2 favourite under Robbie McNamara but he ran no sort of race and finished last of the eight finishers.

Mag Mullins said afterwards: "I am delighted. He was green as I thought he would be.

"He had a problem last Christmas but he came through it well and we didn’t get that schooling into him. We were just trying to get him back on the track. He schooled well since Cheltenham.

"He is a nice horse. He is good and tough. He will have another couple of runs over hurdles before we decided where he will go. I’m delighted for Barry as he said to run him today even if he wouldn’t win.

"He is a good horse and is a three miler so that run will have sharpened him up today. That was only his third run. He came from Germany and wasn’t broken until he was four."

Danny Mullins added: “He had a little look around and he made sure I was awake!” Referring to the incident at the fourth flight.

(Additional reporting by Gary Carson)

GRAND NATIONAL - The Northern Challenge

The Sue Smith-trained Auroras Encore was the last northern-trained horse to win the Grand National back in 2013 but recent victories for that part of the country have been thin on the ground since the likes of Lucius, Rubstic and Hallo Dandy in the late 70s early 80’s showed that steeplechasing was in a healthy state north of the Watford Gap with the likes of Gordon W Richards, Denys Smith, Arthur Stephenson, Peter Easterby and Jimmy Fitzgerald capable of holding their own against their southern and Irish counterparts.