This 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)