Asthuria excels at Fairyhouse
Asthuria entered calculations for the Cheltenham Festival with an easy win in the Fairyhouse Membership 2017 Now Available Mares Maiden Hurdle.
Willie Mullins: Fairyhouse winner
Having just her second start for Willie Mullins in the colours of Hurricane Fly, she had made her Irish debut in Grade One company when a respectable third to Jer's Girl.
Sent off the 8-15 favourite under Ruby Walsh against 14 others, it soon became apparent that it was a two-horse race with Mags Mullins' She's Otto keeping her company down the back straight.
Approaching the second last Walsh asked for an effort and she soon had She's Otto in trouble, winning by six lengths, with the pair 27 lengths clear of the third.
Mullins has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to mares, with Annie Power, Vroum Vroum Mag, Limini, Whiteout and others based at Closutton, but Asthuria was cut to 8-1 by Betfred for the OLBG.com David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle in March.
"She jumped very well and stayed," said Mullins.
"There is a mares' novice race coming up at Thurles that we could look at, and she's a mare that could jump fences in time.
"I wouldn't mind bringing her back to two miles."
Mags Mullins did not have to wait long for compensation as Logical Song (7-2 favourite) and Danny Mullins won the first division of the Book Easter Festival Tickets Online At fairyhouse.ie Handicap Hurdle
Bryan Cooper made a winning return to action when Avenir D'Une Vie claimed the opening race at Fairyhouse.
Out of action since breaking his arm in a fall at the same track on October 8, Cooper's fitness was not tested on the 9-10 favourite.
Now in the care of Henry de Bromhead, having been one of the Gigginstown-owned horses removed from Willie Mullins' yard, Avenir D'Une Vie coasted through the race like an odds-on shot should.
A classy bumper performer last term for Mullins, his jumping was slick and no other result looked likely at any stage.
Mullins' new recruit Aussie Reigns, a decent performer on the level a couple of years ago, ran on to be a never-nearer second, beaten five lengths, while the well-backed Accordion Legacy claimed each-way money in third.
De Bromhead said: "We knew on his bumper form that he was a class horse, and he jumped really well.
"He coped well with that two miles, but a step up in trip would not bother him.
"He obviously loves jumping. I'll have to speak to Michael and Eddie (O'Leary, of Gigginstown) before deciding where he goes next."