News Winning start over fences for Shaneshill at Thurles

Winning start over fences for Shaneshill at Thurles


Shaneshill, runner-up to Douvan in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle last season, made a winning chasing debut in the Killinan Beginners Chase at Thurles.

Shaneshill, runner-up to Douvan in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle last season, made a winning chasing debut in the Killinan Beginners Chase at Thurles.

Just below the very best over timber last season, Willie Mullins views him as a staying prospect in time, yet he started life in his new discipline over two and a quarter miles.

Settled in third by Ruby Walsh, he was efficient if not spectacular for most of the race and when the contest began to develop there was a brief moment of worry. At the third-last, Shaneshill got in a little tight and lost a few lengths but on landing Walsh shook him up and he quickly shot past his rivals, meaning he approached the second-last with a few lengths to spare.

On the run to the final fence only Walk To Freedom was still in touch and Shaneshill (1-4 favourite) pinged it to coast clear and make the perfect introduction in winning by three and three-quarter lengths.

He was left unchanged as the 8-1 favourite with Betfred for the JLT Novices' Chase at Cheltenham.

Mullins said: "I was happy with what I saw and I don't think he made any mistake. I was very happy the way he jumped the last three and he had to kick on over the last two.

"I have no plans yet, he's in all the good ones (over Christmas) but I'd like to keep him and Douvan apart. He could step up in trip, but I'll see what I have at Christmas - I hope to have the same problem in three weeks' time!"

There were no problems, either, for Petit Mouchoir (1-5 favourite) in the Cahir Maiden Hurdle.

Winner of the Goffs Land Rover Bumper at the Punchestown Festival for Gordon Elliott, he was switched to Mullins for his new discipline.

Bryan Cooper had him handy throughout and while there were a few sticky leaps, he did everything that was asked of him. Given his head on the run to the last, he sealed the victory with a big leap, coming three lengths clear of Lofgren.

"He did well to win considering how hard he pulled and I'm hoping in a stronger race he'll settle better. I don't mind going further (in trip) but his next run will depend on what turns up (over Christmas)," said Mullins.

"He looks a nice sort but should be easier to ride over two miles. After getting that first run out of his system, he might also be easier to ride."

Mullins made it a short-priced treble when the even-money chance Royal Cavalier finally opened his account over timber in the Holycross Maiden Hurdle. H owever, Walsh had to work very hard to see off stable companion Haymount.

"The previous year's experience won it for him, but he improved nicely. We'll look for a novice hurdle next, but will look for one down the country rather than up!" said Mullins.

Mullins was denied a four-time whern Daneking fluffed his lines at the last and he was seen off by Mount Colah in the Rock of Cashel Hurdle.

Not seen for 210 days, Mount Colah did not lack in the fitness department as the pair became locked in battle. Daneking appeared to be getting just the better of the argument but landed on all fours jumping the last.

That gave Noel McParlan's mount another chance and the 9-2 chance prevailed by three-quarters of a length.

Trainer Jerry Cosgrave said: "He switched off today and that was the main thing, he also got a good lead. The good gallop helped him to settle and he was in a good way today.

"He's a small horse and will stick to hurdles until we find a decent chase to suit. He was very fit coming here today and that's three wins for him here."

Un De Sceaux warmed up for his imminent return to competitive action with a spin after racing.

Mullins' brilliant Arkle winner is unbeaten in 13 completed starts, with the only blemish on his record coming when he hit the deck on his chasing debut at this meeting a year ago.

Last seen in public winning at the Punchestown Festival, the clear round will have helped get his eye in before he is due to take on the likes of Sprinter Sacre and Simonsig in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on Saturday week.