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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."

11 February 2016

Tracey Collins joy at Captain comeback at Dundalk
Jonjo O'Neill swerves Newbury with More Of That
Blazer features in five-pronged Willie Mullins Newbury raid
Uttoxeter makes early call to abandon Saturday fixture
Ruby Walsh left deflated by Killultagh Vic injury
Bangor Friday card declared a washout
JLT favourite Killultagh Vic ruled out of Cheltenham Festival
Weekend workout planned ahead of Ascot 'option' for Flemenstar
Triumph Hurdle contender Fixe Le Kap heading for Victor Ludorum at Haydock
Kim Bailey has Supreme thoughts for Charbel
North Hill Harvey bids to secure Cheltenham ticket at Huntingdon
Gigginstown happy to play waiting game in Cheltenham Gold Cup
Peace And Co undergoes 'straightforward' respiratory procedure
Victoria Pendleton poised for hunter chase bow at Fakenham
Paul Nicholls flat out to prove Aux Ptits Soins Cheltenham fitness

10 February 2016

Subtle Grey has Donald McCain smiling at Carlisle
Bangor 'relatively pessimistic' about Friday fixture
Nina Carberry awaits further news on back injury
Injured Wayne Hutchinson to return next week
Rookie trainer Andrew McNamara ready to roll at Navan
Revised Uttoxeter programme a doubt on Saturday
Bangor 'relatively pessimistic' about Friday fixture
Oliver Sherwood sets Rayvin Black Wincanton target
Brian Ellison outlines Cheltenham plans for 'monster' Small Talk
Carlisle meeting given go-ahead
Carlisle meeting given go-ahead
Paul Nicholls - Cheltenham domination for Willie Mullins would take title
Micky Hammond not afraid of Champion Chase challenge with Just Cameron
Dan Skelton thinking of Fred Winter for Market Rasen winner Kasakh Noir
Willie Mullins sits out weekend action with Gold Cup favourite Vautour
Barry Geraghty cautious on Betfair Hurdle chance for Blazer
Victoria Pendleton mount Pacha Du Polder could go straight to Cheltenham
Paul Nicholls hands Silviniaco Conti Ascot Chase mission
Dodging Bullets on course for Game Spirit return at Newbury
Kingmaker crucial in L'Ami Serge progression to Cheltenham

9 February 2016

Robbie in the care of jumping great Mary Reveley
Waterlogging beats Ludlow and Taunton
Tommy Silver going for Triumph Hurdle gold at Cheltenham
Taunton Thursday fixture abandoned
Waterlogging claims Ludlow card
Neil King considering Punchestown option for Lil Rockerfeller
Colin Tizzard outlines Gold Cup hopes for Thistlecrack
Martin Keighley hoping Any Currency can benefit from Cross Country changes
Highland Lodge on course for Grand National date
Ludlow look again
Hurdling campaign in store for Ptit Zig
Kim Bailey has Lingfield in mind for Wolverhampton winner Sunblazer
Thrilled Stuart Crawford considers Ryanair option for Fine Rightly
Twelve-year ban from racing for former jockey Darren Egan
Gary Moore left reeling by Traffic Fluide injury blow
BetBright Kempton option for Sue Smith's Wakanda
Willie Mullins dominates Betfair Hurdle contenders
Oliver Sherwood looks to Haydock with Deputy Dan
Nicky Richards mulling Newlands run with Simply Ned

8 February 2016

Day to remember for jockey William Featherstone at Fakenham
Ryan Winks in full cry after 'greatest day' at Musselburgh
Tuesday inspections called at Ludlow and Taunton
Limerick forced to call off early
Colin Bowe planning Festival prep for National Hunt Chase hope Shantou Flyer
Taunton call inspection for Thursday card
Joseph Tuite puts Yorkshire Cup on Litigant agenda
Paul Nicholls identifies Pendil target for As De Mee
Dean Ivory praise for Chelmsford star Kadrizzi
Nicky Henderson gunning for Cheltenham with Musselburgh winner O O Seven
Noel Meade still sweet on Cheltenham Gold Cup with Road To Riches
Nicky Henderson plans to assess Peace And Co
Gitane Du Berlais stamps class on Listed heat at Naas
Nigel Twiston-Davies hails Bristol De Mai performance
McCoy retains Ivanovich Gorbatov faith despite Leopardstown eclipse
Colin Tizzard considering racecourse gallop for Gold Cup contender Cue Card
Jonjo O'Neill favouring Newbury date for More Of That

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