Glen Turns Over Odds-On Stablemate

Sun 27th Jan 2013, 13:35

Glens Melody (Paul Townend) leads over the last
©Healy Racing Photos
By Thomas Weekes
Champion Trainer Willie Mullins was expected to win the Listed Frank Ward Solicitors Solerina Mares Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown today but not with his eventual winner Glens Melody, the outsider of his pair of runners in the race.

Mullins supplied 2/5 favourite Zuzka for the race but Ruby Walsh never seemed happy on the mare and was one of the first to come under pressure.

Glens Melody (9/2), under Paul Townend, moved to the front at the final flight and stayed on well to comfortably defeat Jennies Jewel with Zuzka staying on to take a never dangerous third.

Mullins later stated “we decided to ride her more positively today and it seems to have worked. We'll keep her to those mares' races and she'd have no problem over two and a half miles.

Regarding Zuzka, Mullins said “she seemed to never travel and we'll have to see how she is. That said though, Zuzka has improved so much that we never dreamt that after winning at Kilbeggan she would have achieved what she has.”

< Zuzka was the second long odds-on 'jolly' to get turned over (following on from Urano in the opener), blitzing many an accumulator.

Stan James later introducedp>Glens Melody at 12/1 for the Mares Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Quotes from Alan Magee

GRAND NATIONAL - The Northern Challenge

The Sue Smith-trained Auroras Encore was the last northern-trained horse to win the Grand National back in 2013 but recent victories for that part of the country have been thin on the ground since the likes of Lucius, Rubstic and Hallo Dandy in the late 70s early 80’s showed that steeplechasing was in a healthy state north of the Watford Gap with the likes of Gordon W Richards, Denys Smith, Arthur Stephenson, Peter Easterby and Jimmy Fitzgerald capable of holding their own against their southern and Irish counterparts.

THE IRISH TIMES