Bargain-buy Skyace continues march through the ranks

Skyace continued her rags to riches story with a clear-cut success in the Listed Voler La Vedette Mares Novice Hurdle at Punchestown.

Bought for £600 having failed to win in three outings for Willie Mullins, the Shark Hanlon-trained mare was winning over hurdles for the fourth time.

A surprise 66-1 winner in Grade Three company at Down Royal last time out, the five-year-old was conceding weight to all her rivals as a result.

But that did not seem to matter in the slightest, as Jody McGarvey – who has struck up a good relationship with Hanlon’s charge having been on board for all her wins – always looked confident.

Finest Evermore, trained by Mullins, was sent off the odds-on favourite but was beaten approaching the last as Skyace rewarded her supporters at 28-1, winning by five lengths with The Sliding Rock battling on for second past the market leader.

The winner was cut to 33-1 from 50s for the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

McGarvey said: “She’s improving all the time, jumped beautifully and she stays well. She galloped right to the line and is getting better with every run.”

When asked if this helped to prove last time was not a fluke, he added: “She won a maiden on the bridle, she won a novice hurdle on the bridle and she went to Down Royal and won a Grade Three. I don’t know what more she has to do to prove to people that she’s as good as she is.”

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