Impaire makes perfect Irish debut at Naas
Willie Mullins appears to have another potential star on his hands following the striking debut victory of Impaire Et Passe in the Jack Carter Naas Member Maiden Hurdle at Naas.
Winner of his only start on the level in France, he was bought for €155,000 by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, who have a growing number of runners in Ireland.
Having settled nicely for Paul Townend, he found himself in front at what would normally be the third last.
With the final two flights bypassed because of low sun, there were still plenty of runners in contention two furlongs from home but the 4-7 favourite soon began to pull clear.
At one stage it looked as if Impaire Et Passe was going to cruise to victory in his own time but when Townend decided to see what was under the bonnet, the response was immediate and he came home 18 lengths clear.
Betfair cut the winner to 12-1 from 40s for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle in March.
“He galloped out through the line and on that ground, there is not too many that will do that today,” said Mullins.
“He seems to have a huge amount of scope jumping. He just put down at the last, I think it was the first one he was in front.
“He has huge potential and is one to look forward to for Simon and Isaac.
“He’s not entered in the Lawlors and maybe we could look at the Moscow Flyer in Punchestown.”
Mullins also had the odds-on favourite in the opening Bar One Racing Guaranteed Odds All Channels Beginners Chase in the highly-touted Flame Bearer but after racing keenly, he was dropping back by the second last.
Henry de Bromhead’s Journey With Me (7-4) had tracked the favourite for most of the race and was well placed to pick up the pieces.
However, by the final fence he was also very tired and having scrambled over that, Rachael Blackmore had to keep him up to his work to beat Brides Hill by 13 lengths.
Stable representative Robbie Power said: “They went a good gallop and it took him a while to warm to his jumping after his fall the last day. He’s done plenty of schooling at home. It was great to get a clear round into him and he’s back on track now. It was a good performance.
“He won’t be going back in trip. I’d say two and a half to three miles is his game but his jumping needs to improve a little bit.
“He has plenty of stamina. He was a decent hurdler and hopefully he’s going to be a better chaser. Hopefully with confidence his jumping will get better.”
Gordon Elliott’s Halka Du Tabert followed up a bumper win by making most of the running in the Care At Home Services Mares Maiden Hurdle under Jack Kennedy.
Mullins’ Eabha Grace was the evens favourite but having briefly looked a threat, she had no answer to the 5-2 winner close home, going down by 11 lengths.
“She’s a nice mare. She has a good, high cruising speed but just gallops at the back of it and I told Jack to make plenty of use of her today,” said Elliott.
“I liked from the second last to the line the way she galloped. I’d say she’s smart.
“She might go next for the Solerina in Fairyhouse at the end of January.”
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