Mission accomplished for Cadmium at Paddy Power Cheltenham Trials Day
February 25, 2019 | Jackie DonohueThe Willie Mullins-trained Cadmium sparked joyous scenes in the Naas winners enclosure following victory in the Grade 3 WhatOddsPaddy? Chase on Sunday. Cadmium looks to have provided the Supreme Horse Racing Club with another lively contender to join the likes of Kemboy and Aramon at the Cheltenham Festival after he justified odds on favouritism in Sunday's Grade 3 contest at Naas, denying last year's winner Doctor Phoenix by three lengths. Cadmium holds an entry in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and winning trainer Willie Mullins confirmed afterwards that would be his next port of call. "I'm sure the owners will be keen to go across (to Cheltenham). He's entered in the Grand Annual and is another that will probably head across," reported Mullins afterwards. The Grade 2 Paddy Power Onside App Novice Hurdle went the way of the Gordon Elliott-trained Chosen Mate under Davy Russell. The complexion of this race changed at the first hurdle when the early leader Jetez crashed out but Chosen Mate looked to have all angles covered approaching the last hurdle but in the end just held on by a nose from the John McConnell-trained Hannon who finished strongly in the closing stages. "He’s a grand horse and the plan now will be for him to go to Aintree for one of the novice hurdles," said Elliott. "A strongly run two miles would suit him well while he’d be fine stepping up to two and a half too. Davy just had to change tactics when Jetez fell and he had to be a it more positive on him than he wanted to be. He’s a good jumper who has progressed very well in his three runs so far and I’d say there’s more to come from him.” Poker Party has developed a fondness for Naas and recorded his second win at the track in less than a month when claiming the Paddy Power 6th Bet Free Novice Handicap Chase for Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore. Midnight Run gave the form of Cheltenham's Champion Bumper favourite Envoi Allen a massive boost when impressively winning the concluding Paddy Power Horsebot Bumper for trainer Joseph O'Brien. The Gigginstown House Stud-owned runner scooted clear of his three rivals under Tom Hamilton to beat a small but select field in a race which has thrown up some high class performers in the past. O'Brien was absent on Sunday but Hamilton commented: "He's a smart horse. He's come on a lot since his first run and he'll come on again. He picked up very well for me there." After racing on Sunday leading jockey Davy Russell gave his Cheltenham tips and insight at the Paddy Power Cheltenham Preview in the grandstand. Russell was joined by David Casey, John Mullane, David Jennings and Robert Catterson at the event which raised funds for the Irish Injured Jockeys. Racing returns to Naas on the eve of the Cheltenham Festival with the Toalsbet Leinster National the feature race on Sunday March 10th.