Outlander (nearest) gets the better of Kick On Boss
By Gary Carson
Another day another hat-trick for Willie Mullins as the dominant force in Irish jumps racing again showed the sheer strength of his team at Naas today.
Outlander completed the treble when running out a cosy winner of the concluding winners bumper on the card.
The Gigginstown gelding was sent off 11/10 favourite in a hot looking contest in which each of his six other rivals were also previous winners.
Kick On Boss took up the running after a dawdle in the opening couple of furlongs and he was challenged by the favourite passing the two marker.
The pair settled down to scrap it out inside the final furlong and Patrick Mullins soon gained a narrow lead on his mount.
He started to assert in the closing stages and was well on top going to the line as he posted a length-and-a-quarter winning margin.
The winner was completing a hat-trick himself in bumpers having also landed contests at Fairyhouse and Leopardstown since graduating from point-to-points.
“We'll probably look at (the Grade 1 bumper at) Punchestown if he comes out of this well,” revealed Mullins afterwards.
“I don't think there are any other bumpers over here for three time winners before that.”
Mullins has also taken the opener with Upsie, ridden by Tony McCoy, and the Grade 2 Novice Hurdle with the Ruby Walsh-ridden Annie Power.
(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)