Waterford trainer Henry de Bromhead saw some unexpected wins in Leopardstown while his evens favourite Monalee unexpectedly lost out.
The six-year-old was a faller at the half-way stage in the Neville Hotels Novice Chase. Rival Shattered Love, a 10-1 shot in the hands of Mark Walsh, was always well to the fore and had just taken over the lead when Monalee crashed in the back straight, bringing down Rathvinden and also badly hampering Dinaria Des Obeaux.
However there was good news elsewhere at Leopardstown for de Bromhead, as Dicey O’Reilly and jockey Dylan Robinson captured the 12.50 at Leopardstown with relative ease. Ballyward, not seen since winning a bumper at this meeting a year ago, was the 6-4 favourite to make a successful hurdling debut for Willie Mullins, while Jessica Harrington’s Someday and the Joseph O’Brien-trained Mortal were also prominent in the market.
Having finished a well-beaten fourth on his hurdling bow at Cork, Dicey O’Reilly was a largely unconsidered 18-1 shot, but was always prominent and came home best in the straight to score by three and a half lengths.
Another positive arose for de Bromhead courtesy of 4/1 chance Minds Eye, who captured the 3.05. Overall it was a great week for him, finishing the festival with 6 winners, one behind Willie Mullins.
Meanwhile one of the biggest shocks of the fourth and final day of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival came when Mick Jazz was a shock winner of the Ryanair Hurdle as favourite Faugheen suffered just the second defeat of his career.
Having looked as good as ever when making a successful return from a near two-year absence in last month’s Morgiana Hurdle, the 2015 Champion Hurdle hero was unsurprisingly a warm order to stretch his Grade One tally to nine as the 2-11 favourite.
The Willie Mullins-trained superstar soon adopted his customary pacesetting role, but it was clear heading out onto the second circuit it might not be as straightforward as many expected, with his stablemate Cilaos Emery taking over the lead.
The nine-year-old dropped to the rear of the five-runner field on the run to the second-last flight and Paul Townend swiftly took him out of the race.
His shock exit left Cilaos Emery in front ahead of the Gordon Elliott-trained Mick Jazz (14-1) and it was the latter who found most from the final flight to claim a surprise victory under Davy Russell.
Courtesy of the Irish Times