Cairdin & Danny Mullins clear the last
©Healy Racing Photos
By Donal Murphy
Cairdin provided the mother and son team of Danny & Mags Mullins with a double on the day at Leopardstown and their third winner of the Festival, as he took the Paddy Power Handicap Hurdle.
Wearing blinkers for the first time, the 6yo son of Accordion made virtually all and when Forty Foot Tom came alongside him at the second last he pulled out more, asserted before the last and kept on well on the run-in to score by four and a quarter lengths.
< Forty Foot Tom ran a fine race to finish second under Niall Madden for Daniel Miley at 16/1 while Leah Claire under Denis Hogan was a head back in third on her first start for Willie McCreery at 10/1.
The Gordon Elliott trained, Davy Russell ridden Discoteca completed the placings a further half a length back in fourth at 12/1 while the 11/4 favourte (backed from 10/3 on-course) Tennis Cap finished well back in tenth under Paul Townend for Willie Mullins.
Mags Mullins said afterwards: "We put the blinkers on him today and they seemed to work. I don’t think he is dishonest but he was a terrible horse for looking all around him and they helped him to concentrate. We will consider bringing him back here for the Boylesports Hurdle in January."
Danny Mullins added: "They worked a treat (the blinkers). He was always a good horse and the last day I rode him on the flat he beat Go Native and Jezki so going back to that form he was a steering job. He galloped all the way and everytime anything came to him he would wing a hurdle and go on again."
(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)