Whiskeywealth took a successful step up to Listed level to land the Holden Plant Rentals Shamrock Handicap Chase at Gowran.

The eight-year-old, who was fourth behind Jonbon on his final point-to-point start, won a two-mile Naas handicap last time out.

That run was a return to form after he disappointed in the Grade Three Dan & Joan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase the time before, finishing eighth in a field of 11.

This time he was the 5-2 favourite under 7lb claimer John Shinnick and ran his race towards the front of the field, sticking to the task resolutely on the run in to claim a length-and-three-quarters victory.

“He was very disappointing in the Dan Moore. I thought I’d got it wrong and he wasn’t good enough but I’d say he hit a flat spot on the day,” O’Brien said.

“Today was a bit lower class but he did it well. He was in great form coming here and I was hoping he’d run a good race.

“He’s been very consistent, and we’re delighted to get a good pot. He was due to run in this race last year, but he scoped wrong a couple of days beforehand.

“He’s still improving and that was a career best over fences.”

Port Joulain made the perfect start to his career under rules when cantering home in the “Doc’s Bumper” INH Flat Race.

The five-year-old is trained by Willie Mullins and was purchased for £300,000 for Rich Ricci after a six-length pointing win.

Under Patrick Mullins he was the 11-8 favourite to score at the first time of asking for new connections and he duly did so, finding the contest light work when triumphing by two and quarter lengths from Henry de Bromhead’s Good N’ Kind with the rest of the field strung out behind them.

“He was on my Cheltenham Bumper team but I couldn’t get him ready in time, so I put him by for this race and I’m very pleased with him,” said the winning trainer.

“We’ll probably have a look at a winners bumper at the big festivals.”

Mullins had earlier been on the mark with Aime Desjy (2-7 favourite) in the Holden Fleet Management Beginners Chase and Annamix (9-2) in the INHSC Supporting Point-To-Points Tetratema Cup Hunters Chase, demonstrating the yard’s fine form heading into the Cheltenham Festival.

Mullins added: “The first load of horses have left for Cheltenham and the last ones were on the gallop this morning. All the work is done now and we’ll see how the ball bounces now for the rest of the week.”

Saint Sam was a poignant winner of the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park for Willie Mullins.

Maureen Mullins died at the age of 94 earlier this week and the wife of legendary trainer Paddy and mother of perennial champion Willie was a former director at the track.

Saint Sam, having his first run of the campaign, never saw another rival in the hands of Paul Townend as the 10-11 favourite beat Riviere D’etel by eight and a half lengths.

“Granny would have enjoyed that and it’s a pity that she’s not here to be in the (winning) picture,” said Patrick Mullins, who is assistant to his father.

“It was a great performance and great to have the owners Ed and Mary Ware here.

“The Red Mills Chase was one of the races we pinpointed at the start of the year.

“Small fields suit him – he likes to get on with things and wears the hood. He’s hot and we were a bit worried that he’d be a bit fresh on his first run and do too much on the heavy ground.

“Paul got a few breathers into him.

“Those Grade Twos or Grade Threes are where he’s most comfortable and he could go to Fairyhouse.

“He is a better chaser than he was a hurdler and loves jumping.”

Lantry Lady (13-8) looks a smart mare for the future as she maintained her unbeaten record in the Red Mills Trial Hurdle.

Gone are the days the race is seen as a Champion Hurdle Trial won by the likes of Hardy Eustace, Macs Joy and Danoli but for a mare the Grade Three black type will prove very valuable indeed.

Trained by Henry de Bromhead and ridden by Rachael Blackmore, she had won her only previous race, also at Gowran, by a wide-margin in testing ground.

Doyen Ta Win tried to make all but was beaten three out which left just Gordon Elliott’s What’s Up Darling as the only rival left but he found the receipt of a stone too much and there was almost 10 lengths between them at the line.

“She’s obviously a really nice mare and I’m delighted for the Marigas (owners) who are great supporters of ours,” said De Bromhead.

“She was impressive here last year in her maiden hurdle and then we put her away as she was a bit immature.

“She’s just had a couple of niggles so it’s taken us a while to get her going again. I was concerned about fitness and it was only her second run.

“She’s confirmed what she did in her maiden hurdle and stepped forward again. She’s a lovely mare to go breeding with in years to come.”

As for future plans he said: “She’s entered in the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham and we’d love to go. It’s a step up in trip, but she would strike us at home as all she does is stay.

“I’d say she definitely wants a good ease in the ground so we would be cautious of that.

“The guys would love to go to Cheltenham and I think she is entitled to.”

Ferny Hollow will not make his long-awaited return to action in the Red Mills Chase at Gowran on Saturday due to the going.

The Willie Mullins-trained gelding was at one stage amongst the most exciting horses in training, winning the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham by two and half lengths in 2020.

He ran just the once over hurdles, winning a maiden ahead of Bob Olinger, and over a year later he returned to the track to start his chasing career in December 2021.

His debut over fences was a four-length Punchestown victory, after which he landed the Grade One Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown before injury intervened.

Now a nine-year-old, Ferny Hollow was entered to make his comeback at the weekend –  some 783 days after his last start.

The ground at Gowran is heavy, however, and connections have therefore decided this weekend will not be right opportunity to reintroduce the horse to the racecourse.

Chris Richardson, managing director of owners Cheveley Park Stud, said: “He’s not running because of the ground.

“I know that Willie was hoping to run him but obviously he’s been off a while, he has had a lot of issues over the last year or two.

“We’re just creeping back towards a run so we’ll see what happens, but at this point in time it’s not quite going to happen.”

Jackie Oh gained a first Pattern race success as she stayed on for Group Three glory in the Darley Rathbride Stakes at Gowran Park.

Hailing from a family that includes Breeders’ Cup winner Line Of Duty, Jackie Oh won a Naas maiden on her racecourse bow in March but had been out of luck since, hitting the bar in Listed company before being beaten just under six lengths when fifth in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.

She failed to sparkle in a competitive handicap at Royal Ascot – but partnered by Colin Keane, the Aidan O’Brien-trained filly certainly made her presence felt in this nine-furlong contest.

Jackie Oh stayed on to excellent effect in the final furlong, eventually accounting for Village Voice by a cosy three lengths as a 3-1 shot.

While she still holds an entry in next week’s Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, stable representative Chris Armstrong felt a swift return would be unlikely, with Irish Champions Weekend in September a possible target.

He said: “She’s a filly that has had a few good runs already. Colin gave her a lovely ride.

“The ground, at this stage, is probably important to her. That’s a very important bracket to get with her pedigree.

“A mile-and-one or a mile-and-two is probably her trip. Aidan left her in the Nassau at the confirmation stage the other day just as a back-up and it will probably come too soon.

“We’ll probably give her a bit of time and maybe bring her back on Irish Champions Weekend for something like the Blandford Stakes.

“She could go to France as well, she has plenty of options. She’s a lovely filly and it’s nice to get the win for Triermore Stud as well.”

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