Ruby cracked as father Ted strikes with Any Second Now
Mark Walsh (right) with AP McCoy: steered Any Second Now to victory
PICTURE: Alain Barr (racingpost.com/photos) Mullins denied by Walsh and Any Second Now
By Jack Haynes 2:19PM 14 JAN 2017
Report: Punchestown, Saturday
Sky Bet Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle (Grade 2), 2m, 5yo+
WILLIE MULLINS was denied a fifth successive victory in this Grade 2 novice hurdle, which has been won by Vautour, Min and Douvan in the past three years, with Ted Walsh's Any Second Now staying on strongly to deny the Mullins-trained odds-on favourite Crack Mome.
The J P McManus-owned son of Oscar was cut to 20-1 (from 33) for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle by the race sponsors following his length and a quarter win under Mark Walsh.
The winning rider said: "He's only a frame of a horse so to do that on his second run he must be good.
"They went a proper gallop the whole way and he jumped great. Chasing will be his game and I think he'll be a horse for next year."
How it panned out
Margaret Flynn's Dr Mikey ensured the race was a stiff test of stamina from the front but the eight-year-old faded on the turn into the straight with Crack Mome and Runfordave upsides in the lead.
It looked likely a battle between the two would ensue up the straight, but as Crack Mome got the better of Gordon Elliott's runner, the strongly-fancied Mullins novice hurdler made a momentum-halting mistake at the final flight.
Under a confident ride by Walsh, it was Any Second Now who capitalised on the favourite's blunder, staying on strongly after the last to run out a deserved winner.
Crack Mome kept on gallantly to take second with Runfordave two and three quarter lengths back in third, while Coquine D'aunou caught the eye staying on strongly to finish fourth.