Abbey Lane was too powerful for the rest at Leopardstown
©Healy Racing Photos
On outing number two for Willie Mullins, Abbey Lane (expertly tipped-up by Alan Hewison in the Irish Field) landed a stamina-sapping Boylesports.com Hurdle under the trainer's nephew Emmet at Leopardstown.
As usual, many held chances at the business end of this valuable heat, but with his staying-power not in doubt, the victorious Flemensfirth gelding came home much the best up the run-in after getting a waiting ride to beat Rocky Wednesday (stayed on well in the closing stages too) by two and a half lengths.
Mullins (completing a double after Fatcatinthehat in the first) said: "They went some lick. Emmet (put up a pound over-weight at 10st 8Ib) kept him out of trouble jumping on the outside.
"He got a clear run when a lot of horses met trouble. The rain made it a test of stamina which helped him.
"I'm delighted for Emmet, he gets very few opportunities but he is well able to ride if he gets on the right horses.
"That was the horse's second run for me. Fair dues to Gordon (Elliott, former trainer and handler of the second here, Rocky Wednesday) he was the first man in to congratulate me.
"Martin (Lynch) has been a lucky owner for me. I've trained plenty of winners for him.
"I trained Jessies Dream before he went to Gordon and we also had Serpentaria and Mozoltov for him.
"This fellow is a good jumper and he stays. We were worried about the trip being a bit sharp for him but the way things panned out (light-weight and test of stamina) he had a good chance.
"I imagine he'll go for the County Hurdle. He'll get an entry for that and the Coral Cup.
"The County Hurdle might be his race as that takes some getting."
Big gamble of the contest, Ted Veale (9s this morning into 9/2) finished third. (GC & EM)