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Ballygunner Castle digs deep to land winners' bumper

Ballygunner Castle and Patrick Mullins win the last at Tipperary. Ballygunner Castle and Patrick Mullins win the last at Tipperary.
© Photo Healy Racing

The Willie Mullins trained Ballygunner Castle gave the champion trainer a double on the evening when showing plenty of resolve to fend off all comers to land the concluding Racing Again May 28th INH Flat Race at Tipperary.

In stark contrast to the stables 62 length winner earlier on the card, the five-year-old had to dig deep to hold off runner-up Aruntothequeen by half-a-length.

A winner over 2m3f at Limerick last month, the gelding was sent straight to the front by jockey Patrick Mullins, almost certainly in a bid to make the most of his proven stamina.

As a whole host of challenges emerged early in the straight, it was the Jessica Harrington trained Aruntothequeen who provided the main threat to the eventual winner.

Despite having to concede 21lb to the latter, Ballygunner Castle kept galloping resolutely to last it out.

Patrick Mullins said “He’s a fine stamp of a horse. I couldn’t get him to go fast enough in front. He’s not a quick horse and this is a tight track.

“He’s done well to win in the circumstances, and he has a beautiful pedigree but it’s all three miles. He looks like a staying chaser in time.

“He’s going on his holidays now and I think there is a lot to look forward to.”

Additional reporting by Alan Magee.

About John O'Riordan
John has worked for the Press Association since 2022. He also writes a weekly column for The Irish Field and is a regular contributor to the Irish Racing Yearbook. He has previously written for the Racing Post, Irish Examiner and Irish Daily Mirror. He has been involved in racing for over three decades; having experience as a syndicate member, sole owner and breeder.