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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Blackstair heading for JapanHeadlines
Blackstairmountain

Paul Townend timed it to perfection to get Blackstairmountain back to winning ways in the McCarthy Insurance Group Hurdle at Cork.

A Grade One winner over timber as a novice, he also reached the same heights over fences last season but tends to struggle against the best when the mud is flying, so Willie Mullins is now eyeing up a race in Japan.

Fosters Cross made sure it was a real test and Davy Condon was allowed an easy lead in front with his advantage still around 10 lengths turning into the long home straight, but Blackstairmountain (4-7 favourite) collared him on the run-in and held off Arnaud by three-quarters of a length.

Mullins said: "We'll keep it to those type of races with him until the ground gets better. We're going to aim him at the Nakayama Grand Jump in Japan in April. The ground conditions over there will suit him and he's a Grade One horse. He's the only one I have for the race, although it will be costly to send him."

The trainer was also on the mark in the McCarthy Insurance Group Maiden Hurdle with Midnight Oil (evens favourite). With Luca Cumani on the Flat, he had been outclassed in his previous two races but coasted home under Davy Russell.

Mullins said: "We decided to ride him more positively today and he enjoyed it better. He should improve more when the ground is drier. If he does improve on better ground, which I think he will, he'll step back up to Graded company. He's a grand, big, jumping type of horse and the ground is key to him."

The stable made it a treble when Terminal (1-2 favourite) eventually wore down A Fine Young Man in the McCarthy Insurance Group Beginners' Chase.

An almighty touch was landed by Sabrina Harty's Dalasiri in the McCarthy Insurance Group Maiden Hurdle for four-year-olds, the grey having been backed from a morning price of 33-1 into just 9-2 on-course.

Sent to the front four from home by Andrew Lynch, the Aga Khan-bred showed far more than on his previous start at Christmas and sprinted clear to win from Spot The Pro by 11 lengths.

Harty said: "We felt at home that he had a good turn of foot and we dropped him in at Leopardstown. He was just staying on when he made two mistakes. But his jumping is as slick as you get. I ride him myself and schooled him as well. Today was the plan but he should make a nice dual purpose horse."

27 April 2015

Morning rises to the occasion
Southwell First for Crisford
Dettori set for Moheet Guineas ride
Cyclone seeking elusive Grade One
Telescope focus turns to Newmarket
Dou or die for maestro Mullins
Geraghty wary of Festival absence
Intilaaq added to Guineas field
Mullins sitting pretty with Poli
Romance out of Guineas
Thistle has a crack at Punchestown
Cheltenham foes back on Gold trail
Nicholls reveals title joy
Berkshire to swerve Ganay
Maguire undergoes crucial surgery
Mulrennan notches Wetherby double
Activial unplaced in France
National option for Canvas
Anthem makes Woodlands return
York target for Coulsty
Fellowes points Sail to Newbury
Racecourse gallop for Byron
McCoy: Bumper crowds made it easier
No Vautour in Champion Chase

26 April 2015

Focus claims landmark Wetherby win
Callan blazes Hong Kong trail
Ascot beckons for Dark Emerald
'Lucky' McManus hails McCoy
Retirement tough to take for McCoy
'It's all been worth it'
Farewell, champ
Racing salutes legend McCoy
Bowen glory Par for the course
Sacre stays in training
Menorah does it again
Cadeaux on brink of history

25 April 2015

McCoy's the greatest - O'Neill
McCoy third on Sandown swansong
McCoy third on Sandown swansong
McCoy third in Celebration Chase
AP awarded jockeys' title
Bowen hits the bullseye
Euphrasia revved up for Gowran test
Argocat purring for Oaksey date
Pipe takes wraps off Package
Bolger proud of McCoy heroics
Racing salutes legend McCoy
McCoy's ten of the best
Dettori's a Jack of all trades
Hymn too good for Richards rivals
Apprentice masters Trial rivals
Custom is a Cut above
Wetherby goes Flat out

24 April 2015

McManus at Sandown for McCoy finale
AP to keep champion's trophy
McCoy praise for Pipe
Divine Hymn in full cry for Dettori
Mutarakez lands Esher honours
Clouds chasing Gold glory
Nicholls seeking dream McCoy ending
AP preparing for final bow
Enright facing leg surgery
O'Meara mulling Force plans
Temple target for Pretend
Winning return for Walsh
Commemorative takes Trial test
Prince and Parrott bow out
Nicholls eyeing McCoy Celebration
Henderson on weather watch
Riches on Road to Punchestown
Apache on Punchestown trail
High hopes for Creek bow
Time called on Condon career

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