Tag Archive for: Brandy Love

Brandy Love too good for Grade One rivals at Fairyhouse

Cheltenham Festival heroine Love Envoi had to make do with the runner-up spot as Brandy Love provided Willie Mullins with a sixth victory in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final at Fairyhouse.

Harry Fry’s Love Envoi stretched her unbeaten record over hurdles to five in the Cotswolds last month and the British raider was the 15-8 favourite to add to her tally in County Meath.

Mullins, whose previous winners of the Grade One contest include subsequent Champion Hurdle winner Annie Power (2013), fielded eight of the 15 runners this time around, with Brandy Love seemingly the champion trainer’s first string under Paul Townend.

Having missed Cheltenham, the 9-2 shot was making her first competitive appearance since January and travelled sweetly for much of the two-and-a-half-mile journey.

Love Envoi, ridden by Jonathan Burke, did her best to make a race of it, but Brandy Love was ultimately much too strong from the final flight, despite drifting across the track, with eight lengths separating the pair at the line.

The winner’s stablemate Hors Piste, who made much of the running, was best of the rest in third.

Townend said: “I didn’t want to be as far back as I was when the tapes went up, but I couldn’t give her a kick in the belly. I knew I had the ones that mattered in front of me so was always happy.

“I walked the track earlier so was always conscious that the rail was there if she drifted across.

“She isn’t easy, even at home, but we are learning about her all the time and she has serious ability”.

Brandy Love in the rain at Fairyhouse
Brandy Love in the rain at Fairyhouse (Alan Magee/PA)

Mullins said: “Paul did a fantastic job to keep her straight and produce her as he did. The last day she gave away the race here.

“It was a great race, the Cheltenham winner was here and she beat her fair and square.

“This mare has a lot of ability and I think if we can get her back going left-handed it would be better. I’d imagine that will be it for this season.

“We’ll see what her owner wants to do – if he wants to keep racing or breed from her. She is a good racemare but does drift left and that is not ideal.

“She had a minor problem that kept her out of Cheltenham. This race is more prestigious for breeding being a Grade One, so I’m delighted for her owner.”

Gaillard Du Mesnil upstaged on chasing debut by stablemate

Capodanno upset better-fancied stablemate Gaillard Du Mesnil to complete a Naas treble for champion trainer Willie Mullins.

A dual Grade One winner over hurdles last season, Gaillard Du Mesnil was a short-priced favourite for his reappearance and fencing debut in the Get A Run For Your Money With BetVictor Beginners Chase.

The 4-11 shot jumped well and travelled comfortably for much of the race, but came under pressure in the home straight and ultimately had to make do with minor honours in third.

The JP McManus-owned Capodanno was a 4-1 shot for his first appearance since winning a handicap hurdle at the Punchestown Festival in April.

And considering he made a huge mistake and nearly came down two fences from the finish, Jody McGarvey’s mount did extremely well to rally and get up to beat Embrun Mitja by a length and a quarter.

Mullins said: “It was a tremendous performance after making a mistake at the second-last fence, to do what he did against what looked like a very good beginners’ chase field.

“He seems like he’s going to be a much better chaser than hurdler.”

Of Gaillard Du Mesnil, the trainer added: “He was a little disappointing and he might have just needed the run. He’ll come on from that.”

Mullins had earlier unleashed two exciting recruits to the jumping game in Hawai Game and Brandy Love.

Willie Mullins enjoyed another productive afternoon
Willie Mullins enjoyed another productive afternoon (Brian Lawless/PA)

Hawai Game, also carrying the McManus silks, justified odds of 8-11 BetVictor Loyalty Club Maiden Hurdle under Paul Townend – his first and only start since winning a bumper in France last year.

Frank Berry, the owner’s racing manager said: “He did it the hard way, I suppose. He was a bit keen and he’ll learn a good bit from today. It was a nice performance.

“He jumped reasonably well and you couldn’t ask for any better. We’ll see what Willie wants to do with him now and see where he goes.”

Mullins and Townend were also on the mark with point-to-point and bumper winner Brandy Love (4-5 favourite), who cruised to a 10-length verdict in the Extra Places Everyday At BetVictor Mares Maiden Hurdle.

Brandy Love was much too good for her rivals
Brandy Love was much too good for her rivals (Gary Carson/PA)

“She was a point winner and she jumps and gallops,” said Townend.

“She had a blow there, but she was pretty keen the whole way. She went around the bend to pull up so she’s very tough.

“I’m sure she’ll have a nice future. She enjoys jumping and she’ll be good fun.”