Mighty Min secures famous John Durkan hat-trick

Mullins dominates in Punchestown showpiece.

  • Sunday 06 December
  • News
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Min recorded his third successive victory in the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown, as he led home a Willie Mullins one-two-three in the Grade One feature.

Winner of the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham in March, Min brought the strongest form to the table and was sent off the 13-8 favourite to complete his hat-trick.

With Paul Townend at Cork to ride Chacun Pour Soi, Patrick Mullins came in for the ride and set out to make all the running.

Given the race was run in thick fog it was difficult to see much of the contest, but the Mullins runners were all to the fore.

Battleoverdoyen dropped away before the straight, as did Allaho, and the surprise threat to Min came from Tornado Flyer.

Well-backed late on, Bryan Cooper delivered his challenge late – but Min stuck to his task gamely to win by a length, with Melon in third.

Mullins was thrilled with the spin he got from Min and said: “I’m gutted as he put in an exhibition of jumping and you couldn’t see it.

“He settled great in front. Chris’s Dream was beside us a lot of the way. From when we turned down the back he made ground at each jump.

“I was on the bridle down to the second-last and Tornado Flyer suddenly appeared on my outside. Bryan was motionless and I was flat out and was headed going down to the last.

“I winged the last and he kept on really well. He’s push-button stuff and I’d love another go on him.”

He added: “Because of Altior, at the start of his career he was seen as a nearly horse, but his longevity of top-quality performances is a very rare thing.

“He’s the first horse to get a hat-trick in this race and he’ll be very hard to replace.”

Min was trimmed a point into 7-1 by Coral to defend his Ryanair crown in March.

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