Impervious still unbeaten after stunning Mares Novice Chase win in Cork

Impervious maintained her unbeaten record over fences with a clear-cut victory in the O’Flynn Group Irish EBF Mares Novice Chase at Cork.

The daughter of Shantou was a smart performer over hurdles last season for Champion Hurdle and Champion Chase-winning trainer Colm Murphy, winning at Grade Three level, but looks set to scale even greater heights over the larger obstacles.

Following an impressive chasing debut at Wexford in October, the six-year-old was a 13-8 shot for this Grade Two assignment, with Dinoblue the 5-4 favourite to provide Willie Mullins with a sixth victory in the last eight renewals.

The latter cut out much of the running, but was unable to resist the challenge of Impervious after the final fence, with three lengths separating them at the line.

The winner is 7-1 from 10-1 with Betfair for the Mares' Chase at Cheltenham in March.

Murphy said: "We'd have been disappointed if she wasn't in the ding-dong there - we've had a nice clean run with her this year.

"Settling her is the biggest worry, but she settled really well again today.

"She was a bit careful jumping early on, but warmed up to it and her pedigree is all jumping. I wouldn't be afraid to step her up in trip either and there is plenty improvement to come from stepping her up.

"We'll see how she comes out of this and there are plenty of nice options for her."

Blood Destiny emerged as a potential Triumph Hurdle contender after making an impressive Irish debut for Mullins and Paul Townend.

Runner-up at Auteuil on his sole appearance in France, the son of No Risk At All was the 4-5 favourite for his first start for new connections in the Bar One Racing 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle.

Always to the fore, the market leader jumped better as the race progressed and quickened smartly in the straight to score by five lengths from Sir Allen.

Paddy Power cut Blood Destiny to 20-1 from 33-1 for the Triumph Hurdle at and Mullins is looking forward to testing his powers at the highest level.

He said: "Paul had lots of confidence in him and when he let him stride on, he jumped those hurdles well and the experience he got in France helped.

"He does that nicely in the juvenile division and will make a chaser in time. Hopefully he is one which will go forward.

"I'm sure he's entered for the Grade One at Christmas (Leopardstown) and we might wait. We'll see how he comes out of the race, I hope he comes home safe and sound and I'll be planning a Grade One route with him."

Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore combined for a double on the card, with Arctic Bresil and Hiddenvalley Lake shaping like horses destined for bigger and better things.

Point-to-point graduate Arctic Bresil (11-8) readily accounted for Mullins-trained favourite Mercurey in the Bar One Racing Maiden Hurdle, while Hiddenvalley Lake (9-2) supplemented a successful Rules debut at Naas with an impressive display in the Grade Three Singletons Supervalu Stayers Novice Hurdle.

The latter is a 7-1 shot with Betfair for the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham.

"I'm delighted with Arctic Bresil. We liked him at home but you always have to do it on the track," said De Bromhead.

"He is by Blue Bresil and is from the same cross as Constitution Hill - both are out of King's Theatre mares. Whether he is him or not I don't know - we have a long way to go for that, but it is nice to win a maiden hurdle.

"I don't think we need to rush and there is the Grade Two Moscow Flyer Hurdle at Punchestown in the middle of January and that might be the race for him.

"Hiddenvalley Lake did it very nicely and Rachael was brilliant on him. I thought he was struggling turning in and then he picked up really well - I'd say he quickened after the second-last.

"You have to stay running around here and we'll pencil in the Albert Bartlett. He could run in the Clonmel graded hurdle in February which Monalee won and Minella Indo finished second in to Allaho."

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