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Easy for Grangeclare West on bumper debut at Punchestown.

Expensive recruit Grangeclare West breezed to victory on his debut under rules in the Ladbrokes (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race at Punchestown.

The five-year-old was bought by Cheveley Park Stud for £430,000 in December after winning on his point-to-point bow at Lingstown the previous month, initially joining Gordon Elliott before switching to Willie Mullins’ care.

Partnered by Jody Townend in this extended two-mile affair, Grangeclare West was sent off the 2-11 favourite and assumed control from the off, with his rider taking a glance over both shoulders turning for home.

She let out another notch in the reins in the straight and Grangeclare West lengthened nicely, cruising home by nine lengths from Salvadore Ziggy to complete a treble for Mullins in the process.

Townend stepped in for the ride as Patrick Mullins is currently serving a two-day whip ban, and she was thrilled to team up with the Presenting gelding.

She said: “He’s a gorgeous horse and a complete gent.

“He was idling in front down the back and is still quite green. I’d say he would have been even more impressive if he had something to race with him.

“I have to make hay while the sun shines when Paddy is not around!”

The Mullins team had got off the mark with Sapphire Lady in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Chase.

Last seen when unplaced in a Grade Three event at Cork in December, the 6-5 favourite made short work of her rivals in winning by six lengths in the hands of Danny Mullins.

The winning rider said: “That was a nice performance off a lay-off on that slow ground. She jumps well and hopefully she can build more on that.

“She’d have no problem going into handicaps the way she jumped there.

“The ground is a bit dead because it’s drying, but I don’t think it’s as deep as we were expecting it to be. It’s lovely jumping ground – you’d run a winter horse on it.”

Mullins also teamed up with his trainer uncle to claim the Ladbrokes Committed To Safer Gambling Hurdle with Bleu Berry (9-4).

Stablemate Bapaume was sent off the 6-5 favourite, but it was the Mullins-ridden Bleu Berry who emerged victorious over Snow Falcon, recording his first win since the 2018 Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.

The 10-year-old returned from a 780-day absence when unplaced at the Punchestown Festival at the start of May, but the jockey felt that run had primed his mount for this test.

He added: “It was a nice performance. We were a bit wrong at the weight, but a Coral Cup winner in the past – he’s always a class horse.

“He benefitted from the run here at the festival. He didn’t run too bad that day for a first run back.

“He was a bit fresh early but got his head down when it mattered.”

Joseph O’Brien was also a multiple winner on the day, saddling the winner in both divisions of the Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost Maiden Hurdle.

The Mark Walsh-ridden Persia (5-4 favourite) took the first division, with Banbridge (2-1 favourite) landing the second division under JJ Slevin.

Royal Ascot could be the next port of call for Arcadian Sunset (11-4 favourite) after he finished with a flourish for a six-length verdict in the Ladbrokes “Play 1-2-Free” On Football Handicap Hurdle.

Winning trainer John Queally said: “He has a bit of Flat speed and is rated 89 on the Flat. He’ll probably get a good hike for that and it might get him into a Galway Hurdle.

“We’ll mix it and will enter him in the two-and-a-half-mile Ascot Stakes. It is two weeks away, but he didn’t take too much out of himself today.

“He’s a fun horse and my wife (Miriam) owns him which is even better!”

Djingle makes most of Listowel opportunity

Djingle was too strong for Ornua after the Kerry Group Chase was reduced to a match following the first fence at Listowel.

Though six were declared for the two-and-a-half-mile feature on the opening day of the Harvest Festival, just three went to post after Paloma Blue, The Storyteller and Whisperinthebreeze were withdrawn.

Then just two were left, as Peregrine Run, the 4-7 favourite, came down at the first fence when held up in last place.

Daragh O’Keeffe was able to dictate affairs on Djingle (100-30) and John Queally’s seven-year-old shrugged off Ornua when he tried to close, pulling away to score by seven and a half lengths.

“If you’re not in you can’t win! He had a bit of form around here last year, but the race cut up,” said Queally.

“He was off for six months before his run the last day and we had decided (in February) to pull the plug with him after Warwick (Kingmaker Novices’ Chase). We tried to hold him up at Warwick, but it didn’t work and left him off after that.

“I might look at a handicap hurdle with him – he is rated 136 and it is an option. He has been a great horse to me.”

Andalusa (9-4) ran her rivals ragged with a powerful jumping display in the Cheesestrings Rated Novice Chase.

The Willie Mullins-trained mare led from flag-fall and drew clear to score by 16 lengths from the 11-10 favourite Anything Will Do, to leave Paul Townend singing his mount’s praises.

“It is a while since I’ve had as much fun on horseback!” said Townend.

“She just jumps so well and chasing has brought about a lot of improvement in her. Up to now her jumping has been excellent and she hopped off the ground.”

Tellmesomethinggirl (8-11 favourite), trained by Henry de Bromhead, made virtually all the running to land the odds in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Hurdle.

The five-year-old, ridden by Robbie Power as Rachael Blackmore was serving a suspension, put up a determined display to beat Darrens Hope by two and a quarter lengths.

“She did it the hard way, the mare in second is a decent mare and we were giving her 10lb,” said de Bromhead.

“I’ll discuss it with the owner, but we might give her a little break now. She’ll go on soft, but we ran her on winter ground at Clonmel last January and she couldn’t walk on it.”

Longclaw (4-7 favourite) was all out to take his perfect record over jumps to three in the Kerry Group 3yo Hurdle for trainer Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy.

There was a notable success for Barry Connell, as the Cheltenham Festival-winning owner enjoyed his first victory since taking out a trainer’s licence in his own right with Snake Oil in the Kerry Group (Pro/Am) Flat Race.

Connell said: “This is a very lucky place for me and I rode three or four winners and rode my last winner here. I love coming down here.

“We have 30 in training and have a lot of young horses – there are a few that will be moved on at the end of the summer season and more than half the yard hasn’t run yet and hopefully we have one or two more nice types like him.

“He is a proper horse and is the first proper horse I’ve run. We’ve had a few summer horses, but this lad has a big future.

“He had a lovely run at Galway and Finny (Maguire) said he was still green there so there is plenty of improvement to come and he is a super jumper.

“We might think about a winners’ bumper at Tipperary in three weeks next. We were delighted to get Finny today as he is top class.”