Great White Shark heads double delight for Mullins and Townend at Wexford

Wednesday, May 22 2019

Great White Shark highlighted a double for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend when claiming the feature Mount Leinster Hurdle at Wexford on Wednesday.

Sent off the 11-10 favourite, Great White Shark ran out a comfortable 11-length winner over Poli Roi, although Townend was not completely satisfied with her efforts.

He said: “She jumped great for the first circuit, but it just went to pot on the second circuit for whatever reason. A stronger gallop would have suited her, she would have got into a better rhythm.”

Townend had to have his wits about him aboard Pont Aven (9-10 favourite) in the Vinegar Hill Beginners Chase.

Only six runners went to post in the extended-three-mile-one-furlong contest – but three unshipped their riders during the race, leaving Pont Aven to come home 28 lengths clear.

Townend said: “He is honest anyway, because for a whole circuit he didn’t get to look at a jump and he kept jumping through. The fences were the easiest part, navigating through the loose horses was the hardest part.

“I saw the loose one coming at me turning into the straight and I just thought he is going to turn at some stage. It was a matter of whether I took a pull and went outside or inside, so it was a game of chicken for a little while.

“I had the horse to get through so it was fine.”

Trainer Sean Treacy sent out his first winner since April 2016 as Araukan (10-1) triumphed in the Welcome To Wexford Racecourse Maiden Hurdle in the hands of Katie O’Farrell.

Treacy said: “She keeps going well and she likes it down here. She is not an overly-big filly, but it has just taken her time to develop and mature, and she is only doing that now.

“She jumps well and has schooled well over fences, too. She just gets a little bit wound up when you go racing with her, and that’s why I looked for permission for her to go out of the parade ring early.

“It just makes it handier on myself, the jockey and everyone else. She is as honest as the day is long and will try her heart out for you. She just gets a bit excited and I’m a bit excited myself today!”

He added: “These races are absolutely fantastic and there probably should be even more of them for the lesser-type horses. Hopefully there is another little race in her and she’ll go for a handicap now.”

Charle Brune (10-1) could make a swift return on Thursday after winning the Loch Garman Handicap Hurdle.

Trainer Tom Shanahan said: “He is entered again at Tipperary and we’ll see how he is in the morning. He is a hardy horse and the penny might drop with him if we run him again.”

Deilginis (9-4 favourite) triumphed in the Rosslare Mares Handicap Hurdle, while Perfect Leader was a winning 3-1 favourite in the Wexford Handicap Chase.

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