Magic Daze casts her spell for De Bromhead and Blackmore

Magic Daze was a welcome winner of the BBA Ireland Limited Opera Hat Mares Chase for Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore at Naas.

The big-race duo have found winners hard to come by since the turn of the year, but Magic Daze (9-4) responded to every one of Blackmore’s urgings.

She put in some great leaps at the head of affairs and while she was tracked throughout by Dinoblue, her excellent jumping meant she was always holding an advantage, which she retained by three and three-quarter lengths.

Stable representative Robbie Power said: “We’re delighted with that. She just likes to get on with things and Rachael gave her a brilliant ride.

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“She had a nice break after Fairyhouse with a spring campaign in mind so she came in here fresh and well. I’d imagine she’ll go to the mares’ chase at Cheltenham now.

“I rode her before and I don’t think two miles will inconvenience her. She just has her own way of going. She’s not a quick two-miler, she stays well as well. She has a high cruising speed and stays galloping.”

Elimay, chasing a third straight win in the race, could only finish fourth but her Willie Mullins-trained stablemate Billaway did win the Naas Farm Machinery Hunters Chase for the fourth successive year – albeit not in the manner expected of a 2-7 favourite.

Patrick Mullins will be hoping Billaway can repeat his Cheltenham win of last year in March
Patrick Mullins will be hoping Billaway can repeat his Cheltenham win of last year in March (Tim Goode/PA)

The Cheltenham Festival hero made several jumping errors under Patrick Mullins and had to be hard ridden to beat Le Malin.

Mullins said: “He makes life hard for himself, as usual. What can we say, he got the job done but that’s all.

“He needs to improve a bit, I think, to retain his championship in England but we’ll hope for the best.”

The Jim Nolan Transport Supporting Kill GAA Rated Novice Hurdle has produced three of the last four winners of the Boodles (Fred Winter) Hurdle at Cheltenham, so Andy Slattery’s Sir Allen (100-30) has plenty to live up to.

He looked beaten when Morning Soldier quickened clear after the last, but responded gamely to Adam Ryan’s urgings to win by a length.

“He probably jumped a bit sticky today, Adam said he was looking at the horses around him,” said Slattery.

“We gave him a little break after Punchestown and hopefully he’ll improve out of that now.

“We’ll see what the handicapper does and see if we go for the Boodles, there is also a Grade Three in Fairyhouse next Saturday. We’ll see how he is during the week. I think he needs another run for his jumping, he’s a good jumper but I just think he’s ‘starey’.

“The Boodles is run on the inside track and he has stamina, he’d stay two miles on the Flat. A stamina test would suit him, but we’ll see.

“We’ve never had a runner in Cheltenham before so we’ll see. We’ll enjoy today and take it from there. The handicapper can’t be too hard on us because we were all kind of in a bunch there.”

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