Bellshill jumps tidily under Ruby Walsh on his way to victory
PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos
Report: Punchestown, Wednesday
Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m, 4yo+
BELLSHILL dug deep and produced a fine jump at the final hurdle to make sure the Willie Mullins-Ruby Walsh camp were back where they feel most comfortable – the winner’s enclosure.
Walsh needed his mount to jump the last obstacle spot on and he did, allowing Andrea and Graham Wylie’s six-year-old to gain a crucial gap on Coney Island and hang on for success.
Walsh and Barry Geraghty, rider of Coney Island, hung out at the back of the field as Acapella Bourgeois, Sandymount Duke and Big Bad John forced a strong pace in front.
Turning down the side of the course for the final time, Bellshill and Coney Island had made up significant ground and had Acapella Bourgeois in their sights.
‘He’ll be a beautiful chaser’
Bellshill made his move with two hurdles to go and produced a fast and accurate leap at the last to put ground between himself and Coney Island, who was clawing back the winner on the run to the line but was unable to catch him.
Walsh said: “In fairness to him he was tough but he pulled up like mad in front. I was in front a bit too soon.
“It took us a while to figure out that he wanted a trip because his work’s so pacey at home but we seem to have it now. The trip never worried me but I was a bit worried that he’d been to Cheltenham and Aintree. He’s a very good horse and will be a beautiful chaser.”
Bellshill was quoted for the World Hurdle after the race but Graham Wylie said the horse would go novice chasing with Shaneshill and Nichols Canyon going for staying hurdles.
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