Edwulf scores for O’Brien

Joseph O’Brien’s Edwulf coped well with a drop in trip to land the sportinglife.com Beginners Chase impressively at Punchestown on Saturday.

Mark Walsh: Won aboard Edwulf

The JP McManus-owned eight-year-old was second to Willie Mullins’ Children’s List over three miles at the same track last time.

This time he got the better of Mullins’ Bachasson with the well-backed 5/6 favourite Mall Dini only third. Gordon Elliott’s Robin Thyme was fourth and the quartet were a long way clear of the rest.

Settled in mid-division early on by Walsh, Edwulf jumped well and took the inside route when travelling well before the home turn.

As he got to grips with the challenge of the always-prominent Mall Dini, Bachasson emerged as the chief threat under Ruby Walsh on the outside, but Edwulf’s assured leap at the last sealed matters and he was pushed out to win by a length-and-three quarters.

“He’s a good jumper but he’s been inclined to make a few little mistakes,” said O’Brien.

“It was nice to see him get it together and he’s a horse we’re really looking forward to.

“Two and a half is fine and there’s no reason he can’t go up again to three. He handles soft ground well.

“We were hoping he’d have won a beginners’ chase by now but things didn’t fall his way. We’ll see how he is during the week and we’ll make a plan then, but he could be a horse for the spring festivals.

“He wasn’t a bad hurdler and he’s even better over fences so we’ll see how he progresses.”

Sky Bet cut Edwulf to 25/1 from 50s for the Racing Post Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Read More at Sporting Life

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