Christmas on cards for Moyle
Festive run in pipeline after a perfect start to his hurdling career at Navan
THINGS may not have clicked for the Willie Mullins-trained globetrotter Simenon in Japan but it was still a good weekend over jumps as the Closutton juggernaut made successful visits to Ascot and Navan as the trainer's 'A-Team' continues to get into full momentum.
Annie Power excelled at Ascot to beat multiple Grade One winner Zarkandar and in his absence the trainer enjoyed a treble at Navan, two of which carried the Rich and Susannah Ricci colours that also graced Ascot.
The impressive £250,000 purchase Moyle Park made a winning start over hurdles on just his second start for Mullins and the Riccis and his record now stands at three from three having won two bumpers last term.
He just shaded odds-on with the bookies as opposition came in the form of Wrath Of Titans, who got within three parts of a length in the Goffs Land Rover Bumper at the Punchestown Festival. But Moyle Park had a rather facile six lengths to spare over Kick On Boss in second with a head back to Wrath Of Titans in third.
Moyle Park holds entries in the upcoming Royal Bond Novice Hurdle and the Navan Novice Hurdle but he may wait until Christmas according to Patrick Mullins afterwards. "Ruby (Walsh) said the further he went the better he jumped and the three that he raced down over in the straight were his best three jumps so his jumping will improve with the more racing he does.
"The Royal Bond will probably come too quick for him and he's in the Navan Hurdle but Dad said we might look at a novice hurdle over Christmas with him and that would be the most likely option at the moment," Patrick Mullins said.
Bolyesports cut Moyle Park to 14/1 from 20/1 for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and the same firm also took the same action for Ballycasey except this time it was for the RSA Chase as he made the perfect start to his chasing career.
It seemed like anyone who witnessed the horse school at Punchestown last week could hardly see him being beat and Ballycasey lived up to that as he recorded an eight-length success.
Ballycasey had to reel in the front pair of Mount Colah and Ned Buntline (eventual second and third) but impressed connections in the manner of which he won over a trip shorter than ideal.
Patrick Mullins again commented; "He jumped fantastic and he had schooled brilliantly. He likes that bit of better ground and Ruby said he was going as fast as he wanted to be the whole way around so we'll step him up in trip next.
"It's great that he was able to win over 2m1f and I'll try and twist Dad's arm now as I think he'll make a lovely horse for the four-miler." he quipped with a hint of seriousness.
"There is no plan made for him but we will look for a race at Christmas and possibly he could go for the race at Limerick that Sir Des Champs won last year."
Mullins completed the hat-trick with Patrick doing the steering on Shesafoxylady in the concluding listed ITBA Fillies Scheme Bumper, and the rider again posed thoughts of Cheltenham by saying: "I wouldn't rule out something like the Cheltenham Bumper but I'll leave that to my father to sort out. Not many with three. She's a good mare."