'He's a star for the yard' - Darasso fends off Saint Felicien in Limestone Lad | Horse Racing News - petsitterbank

‘He’s a star for the yard’ – Darasso fends off Saint Felicien in Limestone Lad | Horse Racing News

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

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Darasso (left) surges clear of Saint Felicien (centre) on the run-in

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

By Mark Boylan

Sunday: Naas

All eyes were on the unbeaten Saint Felicien in the Grade 3 BetVictor Limestone Lad Hurdle, but proven stalwart Darasso made his experience count by delivering a fine display to upstage the 4-5 favourite.

Steered to victory by Mark Walsh in the colors of JP McManus, the 150-rated performer wasn’t disgraced when held in fourth behind Honeysuckle in the Hatton’s Grace last time, but relished the drop in class to enhance his already impressive record in small- field Graded breeds.

His 12 starts in Listed or Graded races in Ireland with eight or fewer runners have yielded four wins, four seconds and two thirds.


Limestone Lad Hurdle result and analysis


Saint Felicien, who was in receipt of 5lb from the nine-year-old, wasn’t disgraced in second on just his third lifetime start, entitled to improve for this experience but ultimately looking below Champion Hurdle class for now.

Brendan Powell, assistant to winning trainer Joseph O’Brien, said of the 8-1 winner: “He’s just so consistent, whether it is hurdles or fences – he’s a star to have in the yard.

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

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Darasso: in top form when winning the Grade 3 BetVictor Limestone Lad Hurdle

Darasso: in top form when winning the Grade 3 BetVictor Limestone Lad Hurdle

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

“He keeps turning up in all these top races. Mark said the faster they went the better it was for him.”

Powell added: “He’s been to Cheltenham for the last couple of years but whether he goes there again, I’ll leave that to Joseph. This was a good performance and I think it was a good run from the second too considering it was only his third start.”

The same connections registered a quickfire double in the following race when 4-6 favorite Champion Green, a 14-1 shot for the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, got off the mark over hurdles at the fourth attempt.

Milestone for Patrick Mullins

An afternoon that started brightly for Willie Mullins with a win for Stattler in the Grade 3 Naas Racecourse Business Club Novice Chase ended on a high note too, as Seabank Bistro as emerged a potential Champion Bumper contender when landing the concluding event.

That victory brought up a treble on the card for team Closutton, but it was also a landmark success for Patrick Mullins, who has now achieved the impressive feat of registering 700 career winners.

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

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Seabank Bistro: pulled clear to win in the concluding bumper at Naas

Seabank Bistro: pulled clear to win in the concluding bumper at Naas

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

Ladbrokes introduced the 5-4 winner at 20-1 for the Weatherbys Champion Bumper.

“Patrick mentioned that this is officially my first winner as a breeder, with Harold Kirk having bought the dam,” said the champion trainer.

“Seabank Bistro is a big, green horse. He’s green at home so I was impressed with that performance. I think he can go wherever he wants after today and you’d imagine he’ll get a ticket for Cheltenham.”

The middle-leg of the Mullins treble came through a smart display in the 2m3f maiden hurdle from The Nice Guy, now unbeaten in three starts after winning a pair of bumpers at Fairyhouse and Leopardstown earlier this season.

Mullins said of the Malcolm Denmark-owned seven-year-old: “He jumped and stayed well. Paul [Townend] said he’d be happy to go further.

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

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The Nice Guy: brought up a double at Naas on Sunday for Paul Townend

The Nice Guy: brought up a double at Naas on Sunday for Paul Townend

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

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