This years RED MILLS race day took place on Saturday the 14 February and a big crowd turned out to see some of the biggest names in racing at Gowran Park. For many it was one final chance to prove they deserved to take their chance at the Cheltenham festival next month.
In the Grade 2 RED MILLS Steeplechase it was the Willie Mullins trained grey, Champagne Fever, who returned to winning ways with a comfortable victory. A faller last time out at Thurles he showed no ill effects and jumped brilliantly throughout for Paul Townend to come home four and a half lengths ahead of his nearest rival Texas Jack.
Speaking after the race Willie Mullins said, “That’s a nice confidence builder. It’s a nice prize to win at our local track and from our local company. It’s a very good prize on our doorstep”.
In the Grade 2 RED MILLS Trial Hurdle, a race steeped in history having been won by the likes of Hardy Eustace, Dunguib and more recently Un De Scaeux, it was the Edward O’Grady trained Kitten Rock who came home ahead of the rest for jockey Mark Walsh.
Sailors Warn, a stable mate of Kitten Rock, set the pace early on before being headed by Tiger Roll. As they entered the straight for the final time Kitten Rock travelled strongly as he took over with Abbyssial close behind. Approaching the second last there was very little to choose between the two, but Abbyssial got it all wrong and crashed out leaving Kitten Rock on his own for a comfortable success.
But these weren’t the only big winners on the day as Paddy and Phil Bennett won our Love Racing? Love a Holiday? competition. They can now look forward to a weekend break in Madrid, with BMW transfers by Morrison’s BMW and MINI from their home to the airport and back, plus €500 spending money.
Check out the video highlights from the RED MILLS race day –