Gauloise burns off Thurles rivals

Willie Mullins could have another classy mare on his hands in Gauloise, who won on her Irish debut at Thurles to form part of a short-priced double for the champion trainer.

Sent off the 4-5 favourite for the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Maiden Hurdle, despite having her first run since winning a French bumper in April 2019, she oozed class under Paul Townend.

Having taken up the running before the second last, Gauloise, sporting the Kenny Alexander colours carried by another top-class mare in Honeysuckle, never came off the bridle in beating Global Equity by five and a half lengths.

“She has been in good form at home, but I was taken by way she quickened after the second last and put it to bed,” said Mullins.

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“That looks like she might make into a decent filly if she keeps improving. She was very slick over the last.

“At the moment I’m hoping there is improvement in our horses, but what I loved was the turn of foot she had there – it means she might make it up into another grade.”

Mullins and Townend had earlier won the Killinan Beginners Chase with another odds-on shot, Franco De Port (8-15 favourite), who was last seen being pulled up in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham.

“He is nimble and is a good jumper,” said Townend.

“He pulled too hard in the Coral Cup, we put a line through that and maybe fences will bring about an improvement in him.

“He is not an over-big horse, but is very sure of his feet and that is a big help around here especially.”

Henry de Bromhead’s Gua Du Large (5-6 favourite) was another at a short price to oblige in the Thurles Maiden Hurdle.

“I’m delighted with that – he is still very babyish and it is all new to him. He is a nice horse obviously and hopefully he’ll keep progressing,” said De Bromhead.

“Rachael (Blackmore) said he was pretty green when he came off it (the bridle) and she was happy with him.

“I’m delighted to get the win for Robcour (owners) and we’ll aim for something at Christmas.”

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