Fortune favours Lisnagar at last with Punchestown win

Lisnagar Fortune deservedly opened his account over obstacles in the SkyBet Acca Freeze Maiden Hurdle at Punchestown.

An impressive bumper winner at the 2022 Punchestown Festival, the half-brother to Stayers’ Hurdle hero Lisnagar Oscar did not run again until finishing second on his hurdling debut at Tramore on New Year’s Day of last year.

The six-year-old was beaten as an odds-on favourite for a second time at Cork on his next start before being touched off by stablemate Readin Tommy Wrong at the same venue on his comeback in November, form which was well advertised by the winner’s surprise Grade One success at Naas on Friday.

On the strength of that run Lisnagar Fortune was odds-on at 10-11 to come good over hurdles at the fourth attempt and got the job done in good style, pulling six and a half lengths clear of Jasko Des Dames to complete a double on the card for Willie Mullins following the earlier success of Mystical Power.

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Of Lisnagar Fortune, winning jockey Paul Townend said: “The penny is dropping a little bit with him. On form he was entitled to win after the run in Mallow (Cork).

“He’s just taken a while to come to hand and learn his jumping and things. I thought it was the best he has jumped today and he’ll progress away.

“He’ll end up going further but he was too keen, he’s starting to race now and to learn. He’ll end up going back out in trip in time, but I’m not sure if it’s the right time yet.”

Kates Hill broke her duck under rules in the Total Event Rental Beginners Chase.

The three-time point-to-point winner had been unsuccessful in seven previous outings over regulation obstacles, but was placed in bumpers and over hurdles and filled the runner-up spot on her chasing debut at Naas last month.

Philip Dempsey’s charge was a 15-8 shot to go one better under Donagh Meyler and dug deep from the final fence to see off the rallying Rolly Bowley Boy by half a length.

“That was great, she backed up her Naas run. She’s a great jumper, she’s a lovely mare and she won well there,” said Dempsey.

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“There is novice handicap at Naas at the end of the month and the Ulster National could be a plan, distance would be her thing.”

Idol (100-30) landed the SkyBet Request A Bet Mares Handicap Hurdle for trainer Sam Curling and jockey Philip Enright, while Shark Hanlon and Shane Fenelon combined to take top honours in the Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Chase with Easy Bucks (18-1).

The SkyBet Build A Bet Amateur National brought proceedings to a close, with victory going to the Ted Walsh-trained Hardwired (11-4 joint-favourite) and 7lb claimer Alex Harvey.

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