Shaneshill gives Mullins and Walsh victory in France
Shaneshill has won the Grade 2 Prix la Barka at Auteuil for Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins.
The Graham Wylie-owned gelding made most of the running, but appeared to be headed at the last by favourite Device and the Nicky Henderson-trained L'Ami Serge.
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The three were spread across the Parisian track approaching the post after the two mile, five and a half furlong contest but Walsh got to work on the eight-year-old and got up to head Daryl Jacob's mount by about a length.
It was Shaneshill's first win since taking the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran in January, having been pulled up in the Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham and finishing at the rear of the field in the equivalent race at Punchestown.
It gives Mullins and Walsh back-to-back wins in this contest, having tasted success last year when French-bred Un De Sceaux reverted to hurdles to win by 8 lengths.
Mullins also sent out the grey Thousand Stars to win the race twice – in 2012 under Paul Townend and in 2014 for Katie Walsh.
Mullins' two other raiders had less success, with Open Eagle finishing ninth in the Prix la Barka for Townend, while Meri Devi – a close third in the Champion 4-Y-O at Punchestown – disappointed in the Prix Questarabad for Walsh.
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