Cash Back ran out an impressive winner of what could prove an informative Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Chase at Naas.
Five of the six runners looked to hold serious chances beforehand, but the big disappointment of the race was Willie Mullins’ Tornado Flyer, a stablemate of the winner.
While there was not much between the two Mullins-trained runners in the betting, Tornado Flyer had achieved more in his career to date and had won twice over fences already, but he never looked happy and was eventually pulled up.
Danny Mullins did well to hold on to Cash Back and save enough for the finish as Zero Ten, who had kept him company most of the way despite jumping right, could not go on in the straight.
The opposite was true of Cash Back (7-2) who ran right through the line and looked a smart prospect, winning by 12 lengths.
“It was a very good performance and there was a lot of improvement from his Navan run,” said Mullins.
“I was a bit worried the ground was drying out, but it didn’t seem to bother him. He jumped very well and hopefully he keeps improving.
“Danny was very positive on him and they get on well. We’ll see where we go from here, I’m not sure what his next target will be.
“We’ll see whether he goes for the Dublin Racing Festival and the Arkle there, or we find another two-mile race.
“He has a good style of running and jumping. He likes to get at his racing and jumping.”
He added: “Tornado was disappointing there, but hopefully we can sort out whatever was up with him. Paul (Townend) said he wasn’t travelling at all at any stage.”
Mullins doubled up when Asterion Forlonge won the I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle for Townend, despite jumping right throughout.
Sent off a 15-8 chance having scrambled home in a bumper at 1-4, he looked a different proposition over obstacles, coming home 10 lengths clear of the favourite, Pencilfulloflead.
“It was a nice positive performance from him. I think he’ll want much further in trip and I’ll be going out in trip with him now,” said Mullins.
“I’ll probably look for a novice hurdle over two and a half miles rather than two miles.”
On his tendency to jump right he said: “I don’t know why he was doing that. Schooling at home he goes the other way.
“He was probably just idling. He wants to do anything but do the right thing, which is a good sign as it means there is way more improvement to come.”
Philip Dempsey’s Caravation (6-5) scored for the first time over fences at the fourth attempt in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Beginners Chase.
Having won a point-to-point, a bumper, over hurdles and now fences, the big aim will now be black type but she was slightly fortunate as the odds-on favourite Good Thyne Tara fell at the third last.
“We got the rub of the green. The other horse was travelling well at the time and there was still all to play for,” said Dempsey.
“We’re delighted with the way she jumped today and you couldn’t have asked for any better really.
“She had the experience and we’re delighted to get off the mark. We might look for a winners of one before pitching her it at the deep end.
“We’ll stick to mares’ races if we can.”