Rocky Blue dented some big reputations when winning the Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown.
Tom Mullins’ three-year-old arrived off the back of just one run over timber, when beaten by the reopposing Got Trumped, and as a result was sent off a largely-unconsidered 14-1 chance in a deep field.
All 11 runners still held something of a chance jumping the second-last, with the Gordon Elliott duo of Chief Justice and Coeur Sublime, along with La Sorelita and Got Trumped, all in there pitching.
In the middle of them, however, David Mullins had still to ask for everything on Rocky Blue.
Racing down to the last in the Grade Two contest it looked between him and Coeur Sublime, but unfortunately the latter took a crashing fall, leaving Rocky Blue to come home three and a quarter lengths in front of Chief Justice, with Got Trumped back in third.
The winner was introduced into the Triumph Hurdle betting at 33-1 by Paddy Power.
“I bought him for 11,000 euro as a yearling (at Goffs) and we always thought he was good, but he took his time to come. He has a good French staying pedigree,” said Mullins.
“He learned a lot in Punchestown, where he only jumped the last two hurdles, and we felt if he jumped adequate he would improve a lot on that.
“He won well on the Flat at Navan and got a right slap from the handicapper. Maybe he’s right, but I haven’t gone back on the Flat because of that.
“Hopefully he holds his form and we can come back here for the Grade One race in February. That’s the obvious target.
“Hopefully the wheels stay on the bus until then.”