Un De Sceaux and Ruby Walsh
©Healy Racing Photos
In a week of some mesmerising performances at Punchestown, Un De Sceaux put in another one, as he defied logic with his display in the Star Best For Racing Coverage Novice Hurdle.
Bringing up a treble for Willie Mullins (at odds of 7/2) after Hurricane Fly and Un Atout, Un De Sceaux did what ninety nine point nine percent of horses can't do – he refused to settle but still bolted in.
Riding his second winner of day after Hurricane Fly earlier, Walsh used all his strength to anchor Un De Sceaux but the son of Denham Red didn't seem to be conserving much energy up front.
However from before the straight it was clear the pursuers wouldn't trouble the 5/4 favourite. He cruised clear approaching the last to impressively account for Moscow Mannon by thirteen lengths.
Unfortunately the Sean O'Brien yard, who has been having a decent run of things lately, suffered a dreadful blow when their lovely young prospect, Wedding Present suffered a very serious injury in the back straight.
The Mullins summation this time went as follows: "We might have found another one.
"I'm delighted for Eddie (O'Connell, the winning owner). He's been looking for a nice horse for a while.
"Turban won for him last week and he looks to have a real nice horse here.
"The twice he's ran for us it was on this sort of ground. I hope he's not dependent on it but even if he is we'll put up with it.
"I would imagine we'll keep him hurdling.
"If he jumps fences like that he could be exciting.
"We'll think about it during the summer. We have no immediate plans for him – he'll probably go to grass.
"As you can see he's quite hard on himself. He probably wouldn't want much further.
"If he does as good as Arvika (Ligeonniere, last year's winner here) he'll be alright.
"They have the same style of running." (GC & EM)