Paul Townend and Vauban stun favourite Fil Dor at Leopardstown

'I don't know if many horses have broken their maiden in a Grade 1 but it's a nice achievement for him anyhow'
Paul Townend and Vauban stun favourite Fil Dor at Leopardstown

Vauban and Paul Townend won the Racing TV 12 Per Month This Weekend Only' Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1) for groom Adam Connolly. Picture: Healy Racing.

VAUBAN (9/4) and Paul Townend lowered the colours of previously unbeaten Fil Dor (6/5f) in stunning fashion at Leopardstown. 

Travelling powerfully throughout and though the runner-up battled hard, he was no match for the Rich Ricci-owned four-year-old. who had a cosy three lengths to spare at the line in the Grade 1 Racing TV €12 Per Month Juvenile Hurdle.

“It’s tremendous to win another Grade 1,” declared a beaming Mullins. “We're delighted he won today, put it all together and he learned and got his experience today.

“It's a nice way to break your maiden. I don't know if many horses have broken their maiden in a Grade 1 but it's a nice achievement for him anyhow. We thought he was a nice horse when we bought him.” 

It was much harder work for Townend as he completed his double on Blue Lord (5/2) in the Grade 1 Ward Solicitors Irish Arkle Novice Chase.

Simon Munir and Isaac Souede’s seven-year-old had to pull out all the stops to hold off the rallying 2/1 favourite Riviere D’etel by a half-length, who might be deemed an unlucky loser having led at the last before making a critical error. However, the winning trainer maintained that his charge was idling rather than tiring.

The winner had to survive a stewards’ enquiry after veering across the runner-up after the last, while stablemate Saint Sam boxed on well after setting a searching gallop back in third.

“He jumped well today and I couldn’t fault what he did,” Mullins stated. “Paul said when he got to the front, he did just what he did in Naas, he idled. 

Between the wind and the crowd, you could see him looking around.” 

The four-timer was completed by the day’s most spectacular victor, as Facile Vega (8/11f), a son of six-time Cheltenham heroine Quevega, bolted home under Patrick Mullins in the Grade 2 Goffs Future Stars INH Flat Race by 12 lengths from Sandor Clegane.

A Wave Of The Sea (9/2) jumped like a buck and benefited from Shane Fitzgerald’s five-pound claim to make it a two-in-a-row in the Grade B Paddy Power Chase for JP McManus and Joseph O’Brien, while a huge cheer greeted Kevin Sexton delivering the Tony Martin-trained Good Time Jonny (17/2) with a well-timed run at the last to bag the Grade B Paddy Power I’d Love A Can Handicap Hurdle.

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