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.
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.