Neverushacon too strong for Thunder rivals

Neverushacon made a successful return to action in the Ballymore Group Risk Of Thunder Chase at Punchestown.

Runner-up to Yanworth in last year’s renewal, Jessica Harrington’s charge subsequently won over the cross-country course in February before finishing down the field behind Easysland at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Making his first competitive appearance since, Neverushacon was the 2-1 favourite under regular partner Paddy Kennedy, and travelled strongly and jumped accurately on his way to an 11-length victory over last year’s third Ballyboker Bridge.

Kate Harrington, assistant to her mother, said: “He was deadly and we couldn’t be happier with him – he seems to absolutely love it here.

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“We may go back to Cheltenham in December with him if the ground isn’t too heavy

“For whatever reason, he just seems to be a different horse around here.”

The Willie Mullins-trained Colreevy made a smart start to her career over regulation fences with a wide-margin victory in the Ballymore Group Rated Novice Chase.

Colreevy after winning at Punchestown
Colreevy after winning at Punchestown (Alan Magee/PA)

The point-to-point graduate won the Grade One championship bumper at the Punchestown Festival in the spring of 2019, and went on to ply her trade at a high level over hurdles last term.

However, she could scale even greater heights over the larger obstacles judged on this 15-length success under Paul Townend.

“The trip was ideal, she handled the ground well and she jumped great,” said the champion jockey.

“There was plenty of carnage behind me and I was able to stay out of trouble.

“Her form speaks for itself. She’s a big mare and chasing will be her game.”

Mullins and Townend were on the mark again in the Hub At Ballymore Maiden Hurdle, with French recruit Blue Lord (3-1) making a successful Irish debut – lunging late to deny even-money favourite Julies Stowaway by half a length.

Townend said: “That was a nice performance. It was halfway down to the last before the penny dropped and he started galloping for me. From there with a good jump at the last I was going to win.

“He jumped brilliant. The second wasn’t stopping and it was a good performance to come from behind and go by.

“I think he’ll get further.”

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