Equus Maximus no back number
This leap at the last sealed it for Equus Maximus and Patrick Mullins at Thurles
(Healy Racing Photos)
Bringing up a treble for the champion trainer, the veteran Equus Maximus (9/1 from an opening show of 7s) arrived with his challenge travelling well in the straight.
A good fast fluent leap at the last ultimately proved crucial as the former Punchestown Festival winner held off the market-leaders, Oscar Delta and Goonyella by a neck and a head.
Mullins, earlier on the mark with the Ruby Walsh-ridden pair, Mikael D'Haguenet and Ballycasey, said: "I kept him for the big hunter chases. He'll have an entry in them all."
Of course the master of Closutton could have easily left Thurles with a five-timer - Djakadam and Tarla both ending up on the floor when in with winning chances.
Stan James introduced Equus Maximus at 25/1 for the Foxhunters Chase at Cheltenham. (TW & EM)
Sherika showed that she's a useful mare when winning at Gowran in the middle of last month. She put memories of her eclipse at Limerick in the interim, very firmly in the past when triumphing in the Leugh Handicap Hurdle at Thurles under Mark Enright.