11 Mar The Eyes have it once again in the Toalsbet Leinster National
Willie Mullins’ Pairofbrowneyes completed the notable feat of winning back-to-back renewals of the Toalsbet Leinster Nationals as he led home a 1-2-3 for the trainer in Sunday’s feature race at Naas Racecourse.
Pairofbrowneyes had been without a victory since winning the Leinster National twelve months ago but powered away from his rivals after the final fence and proved much too good for his stable companion Isleofhopendreams who had to settle for second in yet another valuable handicap chase.
Bellow Mome stayed on to take third to make it a memorable occasion for the Mullins team as they took home the lion’s share of the €100,000 prize.
It was also a day to remember for local trainer Oliver McKiernan whose Gallant John Joe gave Kildare jockey Barry Browne the biggest success of his career in the Irish Racing Writers Kingsfurze Novice Hurdle.
The admirable six-year-old, who is named after former Cavan GAA legend John Joe Reilly, looks set to step up in trip and grade at the Punchestown Festival later in the season.
“This race was on the short side for him and we were wrong of the weights with a couple of them but we always thought he could do it,” McKiernan said.
“We put him in this race as we didn’t see much else coming up for him and felt that if he was going to go to Fairyhouse or Punchestown he would need to have another run before then. Barry gave him a powerful ride and he knows him well at this stage.”
Kaiser Black backed up his fine run in Grade 1 company at the Dublin Racing Festival to claim the Grade 3 Naas Directors Plate Novice Chase in impressive fashion.
Jack Doyle made a rare trip home to ride the improving eight-year-old for his father, Pat, and they had eleven lengths to spare over the 6/4 favourite Camelia De Cotte.
The winning jockey said: “He jumped super and he kept gaining lengths in the air. I ended up getting to the front a bit too soon but there wasn’t a lot I could do about it. He won very well in the end.”
Curragh-based trainer Alan Fleming warmed up for the Cheltenham Festival with a double on the card as he won the opening Adare Manor Opportunity Maiden Hurdle with Espanito Bello and followed up in the Naas Supporters Handicap Hurdle with the 4/1 joint favourite Mount Pelier obliging.
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