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3 for Mullins 2 for O'Keeffe on day four at Punchestown

El Barra (Sean O'Keeffe) heads for home from Get My Drift (Mark Walsh)El Barra (Sean O'Keeffe) heads for home from Get My Drift (Mark Walsh)
© Photo Healy Racing

A sixteenth of the week and a treble on the day was rounded off for Willie Mullins as Sean O’Keeffe doubled up aboard El Barra in the SalesSense International Novice Hurdle at Punchestown.

O’Keeffe was earlier a winner for Jessica Harrington on Rapid Response whilst Mullins was on the mark with Gaillard Du Mesnil (Paul Townend) and Asterion Forlonge (Bryan Cooper).

With a couple of hurdles out here due to the low sun, only seven were jumped, and El Barra (12/1) disputed the lead early, and he led from the second and made the rest.

Ridden clear before the last, El Barra had a reduced advantage inside the final furlong, keeping on close home to hold off Get My Drift by a head.

“He’s done it nicely, jumped a bit left. I think he’s going to be a better horse over fences and he’ll go chasing next season,” said Mullins.

“Sean is a good pilot and he was good on Galopin Des Champs for us at Cheltenham.”

Owing to the low lying elevation of the sun, the Stewards granted permission for hurdles # 2 & 3 to be omitted from this race

(AM & EM)