Gala Marceau beats luckless Lossiemouth.
In the Spring Juvenile Hurdle, Mullins finished one-two, but not in the order expected.
Gala Marceau upset her highly regarded stablemate Lossiemouth at Leopardstown in the Donohue Marquees Spring Juvenile Hurdle, causing a stir.
At Christmas, Gala Marceau, who is owned by Kenny Alexander of Honeysuckle fame, finished seven lengths behind Lossiemouth and could be backed at 9-2, whereas Lossiemouth was sent off as a hot 1-3 favorite.
However, despite dominating the finish, the Willie Mullins-trained pair did not cross the finish line in the expected order.
Lossiemouth’s race was lost at the third turn when another stablemate, rank outsider Jourdefete, owned by Rich Ricci like Lossiemouth, made a mistake that left Lossiemouth without a place to go.
Before circling the field on the bend, Paul Townend had to take his medicine on the market leader and briefly finished last.
Although the bird had already flown, Lossiemouth deserved credit for still having a chance heading to the final.
At the finish, Gala Marceau and Danny Mullins maintained their two-and-a-half-length lead. They were spring-heeled at it. Tekao, another Mullins runner, finished third.
Lossiemouth is currently 9-4 for the Triumph out of 11-8, while the victor is 4-1 from 10s.
“Paul got into a lot of trouble, but the winner is a good filly and she’s improving all the time,” said Mullins. “Paul thinks he was a little unlucky.
“That (same ownership) was the disappointing part about it. Paul said to me he got done three times.
“I just hope it doesn’t leave its mark that she had such a hard run from the third-last home. She put in a huge effort for a juvenile filly and that might just leave a mark.
“That’s what I’m really worried about and I would have been happier if Paul had maybe just been hands and heels. The writing was on the wall, so what was the point in hitting her.
“He has to have a go to try to win, but to me unless Danny’s made a mistake at the last he wasn’t going to get to that one.”
On the winner he said: “We thought she had every chance coming here today if anything happened to the other one. Lossiemouth had been working well at home, but Gala Marceau probably had more scope for improvement.
“She jumps very well and she’s a good filly.”
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