Supreme Carolina, left, swoops to conquer at Leopardstown
©Healy Racing Photos
By Michael Graham
The two mile Christmas Rated Hurdle at Leopardstown must have put a smile on the handicapper’s face as five horse jumped the last in unison.
It was Ruby Walsh and Supreme Carolina (5/1) though who got up on the outside to deprive Persian Gayle and Andrew McNamara by half a length. Persian Gayle (16/1) had been prominent throughout and had seen off all challengers before nabbed at the business end.
Pires was a length away from Persian Gayle in third at 6/1 while Hit The Headlines kept his each way punters happy who had participated in the gamble this morning, when finishing fourth. He went off 7/1 but was backed early from 9s to 5s in the 16-runner contest.
“Ruby said he couldn’t go with them so he sat and waited and it paid off. The ground might be a bit drier than they are calling it for her to win,” Willie Mullins said.
“They went a good enough gallop and she picked up well. It’s tacky ground and takes plenty of getting, but she’s gutsy,” Ruby Walsh added.
(Additional reporting by Gary Carson)