Patrick Mullins pictured with the Kates Monkeys Syndicate
©Healy Racing Photos
By Alan Magee
Immediate Response overcame a long lay-off to complete a hat-trick in handicap hurdles last spring, and the ten-year-old continues to make up for lost time with a successful debut over fences in the 2m1f beginners chase.
The diminutive 8/11 favourite put in a fine round of jumping under Patrick Mullins but was taken on for the lead by market rival Stony Grey Soil entering the straight.
Another fine leap at the second last put the “jolly” back in front, and he was about three lengths ahead when the 15/8 second favourite fell at the last.
That left Mullins’ mount well clear and he kept on well to beat Viaduct Joey (28/1) by 21 lengths, with Gerdalia another 11 lengths away in third.
This completed a double for champion trainer Willie Mullins who said, “He’ll go for a winners’ race somewhere but we won’t aim him at anything special.”
The winner is owned by Kates Monkeys Syndicate, a group of Patrick Mullins' friends from his student days.
Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes