Allaho books Cheltenham ticket with Fairyhouse verdict

Mullins eyeing Festival options for winning favourite.

  • Saturday 25 January
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Allaho cemented his Cheltenham claims as he got off the mark over fences in the Book Your Easter Festival Tickets Online Beginners Chase at Fairyhouse.

Beaten by stablemate Easy Game at Leopardstown over Christmas, he looked in a different league to his rivals on this occasion and so it proved, coming home in splendid isolation as the 2-5 favourite.

Willie Mullins’ charge was slashed to 6-1 from 16s for the Marsh Novices’ Chase and is now 12s from 16s for the RSA with Betfair.

“From what I could see, it looked like he jumped great,” said Mullins.

“Paul (Townend) just thought he was getting a bit tired the last day and jumped left.

“I’m happy with him and I’d imagine he will take up some engagement at Cheltenham after that, we’ll see whether he goes for the RSA or the Marsh Chase.

“I’ll have a word with Paul and see what he says. At least that is job done, it’s a bit later in the season than we thought, but it’s done.

“I doubt he’d run again before Cheltenham. I’ll have a chat with connections, but I wouldn’t think so unless Paul thought he needs another day out.”

Townend said: “He’s a big horse, big animal. He met most of them fairly spot on and did what I hoped he’d do in Leopardstown.

“He came on a lot from that run in Leopardstown. To be honest, going to the last ditch in Leopardstown, I was a bit worried and he did well to get as far as he did. He put it right today.

“He’s very good to jump, he knows what he’d doing and has loads of scope when you want him as well.”

Some smart youngsters have won the Eco Friendly Cups Solerina Mares Novice Hurdle in recent years and Minella Melody added her name to the list.

Limini, Shattered Love, Laurina and Honeysuckle have won the last four renewals and it was owner Ken Alexander, trainer Henry de Bromhead and jockey Rachael Blackmore who were successful again.

Despite Mullins fielding three smart mares of his own, none of them had an answer to the 100-30 winner, who remains unbeaten over hurdles.

Betfair make her an 11-2 chance for the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham from 12-1.

“I thought she toughed it out again and she’s obviously a lady that doesn’t kill herself and only does enough,” said De Bromhead.

“Rachael was brilliant on her and I’m delighted to get it for Kenny.

“She’s probably more of a staying type mare, but we’ll keep all our options open and see.

“We’ll enter her for the mares’ novice at Cheltenham and we’d have to certainly consider that and we might put her in the Ballymore as well.

“She’s a lovely mare and in fairness to her, with the penalty there, I thought she really toughed it out and I’m delighted to win it.”

Allaho books Cheltenham ticket with Fairyhouse verdict
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