Moon Racer (right) chases Blow By Blow at Punchestown
PICTURE: Alain Barr (racingpost.com/photos)
Report: Punchestown, Wednesday
Attheraces.com Champion INH Flat Race (Grade 1) 4-7yo, 2m
BLOW BY BLOW denied Moon Racer a victory on his first run since winning the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival last year by making all of the running under jockey Katie Walsh.
Moon Racer had been off the track for 413 days and made a bold bid for victory, quickened sharply and then finding extra for pressure in the straight but ultimately did not have enough left in the tank to get past the winner.
It was a maiden Grade 1 victory for Katie Walsh, who said: “It’s a first Grade 1 for me and I’m over the moon. It’s unbelievable.
“He’s tough as nails. I was looking for company but Patrick [Mullins] had said don’t be afraid to wind it up from the back. I knew [Moon Racer] had plenty of toe so I wanted to get him on the back foot before turning in, and when he came to me we picked up again.”
Tactics appeared to play a key role in the victory for the Willie Mullins-trained Blow By Blow, with second Moon Racer having to challenge from a long way back while the winner was idling having slipped the field in front.
Jamie Codd, rider of Moon Racer, said: “I thought I was going to win two-out but he just flattened out a bit, he has run well but I ran into a nice one.”
Also on Wednesday
Weatherbys Ireland EBF Mares INH Flat Race (Listed) 2m, 4-7yo
AUGUSTA KATE produced a sustained effort in the straight to pick off Forge Meadow and claim success in a race that will be remembered for another errant performance from The Nipper.
Talented, The Nipper is also quirky to say the least having hung left across the track at Sandown when winning last time.
Leading the field this time, she inexplicibly swerved right and crashed through a rail before galloping off, leaving her rider Nina Carberry to sit and wonder what had just happened.
Patrick Mullins, who rode the winner for his father Willie, said: “She’s as tough as teak this mare. Once I got stuck into her she was always going to get there and she pricked her ears when she got to the front.”
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