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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Inish enters Festival pictureHeadlines
Inish Island

Inish Island forced his way into the Cheltenham Festival equation with a cosy success in the Surehaul Mercedes-Benz Novice Hurdle at Clonmel.

The seven-year-old was last seen running second to At Fishers Cross in a Cheltenham handicap and he went one better under a confident ride.

Inish Island, the 11-10 favourite, brushed aside his only serious rival, Venture Capital, in the closing stages to score by two lengths and was cut to 14-1 from 25s with Paddy Power for the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.

Trainer Willie Mullins said: "He's improving all the time. He's already shown good form at Cheltenham and we'll have to consider the Albert Bartlett. We'll have a chat with the owners and see what they want to do."

The victory was one of four on the afternoon for Mullins and jockey Ruby Walsh.

Sarabad (7-4 joint-favourite) struck first with a 29-length romp in the Surehaul Race Day Maiden Hurdle, while Annie Power (1-3) followed up her jumps debut success in the Kilsheelan Mares Hurdle.

Mullins is now eyeing a Grade One mares' novice hurdle at Fairyhouse for the five-year-old, while the four-timer was completed by Call The Police in the Derrygrath Chase.

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