Mikael D'Haguenet and Ruby Walsh fly home at Thurles
©Healy Racing Photos
After the unfortunate exit of the Mrs Susannah Ricci, Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh contender in the first, Djakadam (unseated at the last), there was nice compensation for the trio in race two, the W.T. O'Grady Memorial EBF Novice Chase at Thurles courtesy of Mikael D'Haguenet's victory.
For a stride or two, from the last fence in the back straight, you might have worried if you'd invested in Mikael D'Haguenet at two to one on.
In the straight though it was a matter of getting the formerly spectacular novice hurdler over the last two fences. He accomplished that feat more than adequately to stroll home twelve lengths in front of He'llberemembered. Front-runner Western Leader faded into third, eight lengths behind.
Mullins exclaimed: "Phew! There was better luck there. We'll try and keep him to that sort of trip now (two and a half miles).
"The Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse at Easter is a likely target. He'll be entered for all those races at Cheltenham but whether or not he goes is another day's work.
"He is a course winner at Cheltenham so we might have a run before then to make up our minds." (TW & EM)