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Willie Mullins and Paul Townend score again with Lossiemouth in Mares' Hurdle

Lossiemouth cruised to victory in the Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

The top-class five-year-old grey is trained by Willie Mullins in the colours of Rich Ricci, and Paul Townend never had any reason for concern at any stage riding the 8/13 favourite in a field of 11.

Townend was a picture of patience, allowing others to make the running before cruising through to sweep up the hill to an unchallenged success from Telmesomethinggirl aboard a mare who had been talked of as a possible Champion Hurdle contender after her scintillating win on Trials day in January.

Mullins said: “She was great – she’s a Champion Hurdle mare, we all think. Once again, Paul was very cool on her and she can improve another year on, when she’s a bit older. Running like that, in that ground, she’s got everything.

“We made the right decision (not to go for the Champion Hurdle this year). She didn’t get a grueller like if she’d been in the Champion Hurdle, she’s only five and getting a grueller in the Champion Hurdle is not what you want.”

He added: “I think I was part of the big roar at the last myself! I never do that normally, but when she went for it I joined in and that isn’t normal for me.

“I don’t think we’ll go to France, I’d have thought it will probably be Punchestown for a mares’ race and then after that I’ll have a chat to Rich.

“It’s very very nice to have a treble on the first day. Of course we’re in a position where we are bringing a big team across, but they have to win and after the Supreme I was worried that it was going to be a day like it was on the first day a few years ago when we had no winners.

“Of course I’m very happy with the day, I can enjoy the rest of the week now.”

Ricci said: “Paul did exactly what he told us he was going to do, which was hang back and pick them off. He seemed in the perfect position the whole race and she is just fantastic.

“The plan is the Champion Hurdle next year, let’s see if she is up for it, she’s been wonderful to own and she’d be undefeated if she hadn’t run into trouble at Leopardstown last year.

“I’m delighted with her, we’ve been very lucky with our mares and she is brilliant.”

Regarding this year’s Champion Hurdle, Ricci said: “Hindsight is wonderful, we had a plan and we stuck to it. Hopefully we’ll be able to go for it next year, we’ve won the Mares’, it’s a Grade One so we are delighted.”

Henry de Bromhead was not only responsible for the runner-up, but also Hispanic Moon in third and Langtry Lady in fourth.

He said: “I am proud of the way all my mares ran. All of course owned by good breeders.

“I loved the way Telmesomethinggirl travelled, but the winner was very, very good.

“Hispanic Moon had good form in France. She’s been brilliant and was bought as a broodmare.

“Langtry Lady was a bit unlucky. Jack (Kennedy) said she just got lost at the start, but she stayed on well and is one for the future.”

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