MONKFISH versus Envoi Allen was the one they all tuned in for.
What they got was a shock.
But as is so often the case Willie Mullins still had the last laugh as his tough as boots mare Colreevy landed the Grade 1 Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase.
Monkfish might not have read the script, but for Mullins it was all part of the 1,875-1 opening day five-timer fun that included all three Grade 1s.
Here the Mullins pair were always in charge, with Envoi Allen eventually pulled-up by Rachael Blackmore.
Monkfish’s chance looked thin two from home, but a clattering error at the fence ended any lingering chance of a tense finish.
Colreevy just got over the last despite a scare and was pushed out to a memorable eight length win by Danny Mullins.
The jockey said: “To cap her career off like that beating the geldings, it’s a great day.
“She’s a proper tough mare and coming in here with the mares’ allowance I knew I wasn’t going to be far out of this.
“When I got off the home bend I thought I had petrol up my sleeve but when you know the horses you have in behind, I knew they were going to be coming at me.
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“Everything she has been asked for she’s delivered.”
Echoes In Rain got the show on the road in the Champion Novice Hurdle early on the card.
The market spoke volumes for the Mullins mare and she never reached top gear to take the first Grade 1 of the week.
Stablemate Blue Lord was forced into making the running but was missing his usual enthusiasm.
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As they headed to the second-last hurdle, Patrick Mullins on the eventual winner cruised in behind Blue Lord.
Mullins had stalked his prey and they soon went into the lead in a matter of strides and the race was all but over.
Blue Lord faded into third with 40-1 outsider Colonel Mustard running a huge race to grab second.
At this rate the others might not have bothered. Mullins at his brilliant best is a show not to be missed.
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