Equus Maximus no back number

Thu 17th Jan 2013, 16:42

photoThis leap at the last sealed it for Equus Maximus and Patrick Mullins at Thurles
©Healy Racing Photos
Rarely is a Willie Mullins-trained winner greeted with relish by the layers at the end of a card but such was the case when Equus Maximus scored under Patrick Mullins in the finale at Thurles, the Arctic Tack Stud Hunters Chase.

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)

Might Bite To Prove His Worth Next Season

There is not much attention given to national hunt racing in the summer months, by punters or by the media. It is, of course, understandable given that our attention is focused on the flat season: the action at Royal Ascot, the Classics and the rest of the elements that define the summer racing season. Some punters might have a dabble at an ante post bet for Cheltenham next year, but by and large we forget about it until the autumn.

THE IRISH TIMES