26 February 2023

Corbetts Cross claims Grade Two honours in Naas thriller

26 February 2023

Corbetts Cross made a winning debut for Emmet Mullins when landing the Johnstown Novice Hurdle at Naas.

The six-year-old was previously trained to point-to-point and hurdle success by Eugene O’Sullivan before joining Mullins earlier in the year.

A 7-4 chance on his first run for the stable, Corbetts Cross travelled well under Donagh Meyler and took on Found A Fifty, the 11-10 favourite, in the home straight.

The two locked horns all the way to the line, with Mullins’ runner just prevailing by a head in the end to take Grade Two honours.

“It was a nice performance. I’d say it was a good race, two nice horses and he’s a very nice horse,” said Mullins.

“He showed a great attitude but I suppose it’s nothing we didn’t know. He’s been a very good horse all season for Maxine and Eugene (O’Sullivan).

“Paul (Byrne, owner) said that has possibly opened up a few more avenues and he said he’s open to some supplementary entries.”

Coral make Corbetts Cross the 5-1 co-favourite for the Albert Bartlett and when asked if that race would be on the cards, Mullins added: “That’s just one option, Paul is very keen to explore all avenues.

“He could go anywhere and he might not even go to Cheltenham if the ground didn’t come up right. He’ll be given every option and we’ll take it from there. He’s versatile.

“Once it’s safe ground, he’s a big horse and is still a novice. The way we are thinking, there are going to be plenty more big days ahead of us and we won’t run him on fast ground this season.”

When asked about dropping back in trip, Mullins added: “He’s shown gears and he jumped straight into it at home from the word go.

“He’s just a very good horse, that’s what we were told we were buying when we were getting him. It’s been good business.

“It shows the quality of horse that we are dealing with, to be able to mix over three miles the last day and two miles on faster ground today.

“He’s a high quality animal and it’s very exciting looking forward to the future.

“They didn’t hang about there, they went a good gallop the whole way. He’s no slouch.

“It was a fair performance and the second is held in high regard.”

On the long term prospect of the horse being even better over fences, he said: “It’s the old cliche and half the time it never materialises.

“He has point-to-point form and comes from a good school in the O’Sullivans. Eugene’s are all old-fashioned chasers and he has plenty of jumping done over fences.

“That’s what he was bought for and hopefully next season could be a big season for him.”

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