Mullins ends 2016 with double

A review of the pick of the action from Punchestown on Saturday as Willie Mullins signed off the year with a double.

Willie Mullins could hardly have ended the year in better form

In-form Irish champion trainer Willie Mullins signed off for 2016 with a double at Punchestown to make it a remarkable 24 winners since Boxing Day.

Having recorded 22 victories from Monday to Thursday, the Clossuton maestro added two more on New Year's Eve, led by the potentially smart Redhotfillypeppers in the Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. Mares (Pro/Am) Flat Race.

A £200,000 Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham May Sale purchase, the Coldunell Limited-owned four-year-old is joint most expensive point-to-point mare ever sold at auction and was much sought after following her victory under Harley Dunne for the Donnchadh Doyle-yard at Necarne less than a fortnight prior to her sale.

The 4/6 favourite was sent straight to the front by David Dunsdon in whose colours she runs and never looked in any danger as she made all with two and three-quarter lengths to spare from Ladysingstheblues.

Redhotfillypeppers is from the family of Mullins' dual Thyestes Chase winner On His Own, who was denied by just a short head in the 2014 running of the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Mullins said: "She a fine strong mare and has a stamina-laden pedigree. She gallops all day and jumps well. I'd say she will go for a winners' bumper and won't go hurdling until next season.

"She was quite green today but as she gets experience racing she'll be fine. She's a chaser in the making.

"David was a Fegentri champion and that's his first winner in Ireland. He doesn't do too much racing these days."

Mullins kicked off the afternoon when Childrens List landed the opening Buy Your 2017 Annual Membership Beginners Chase.

The 2/1 joint-favourite was soon out in front under Ruby Walsh and proved tough in the finish when challenged but fellow market leader Edwulf, who could only reduce the gap to half a length at the line.

Walsh said: "He'd a run under his belt and the step up in trip suited. He jumps well and we know he stays as he'd a couple of good runs in staying handicaps last year."

Read More at Sporting Life

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