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Last Updated: 09/01/11 4:39pm
Paul Townend and Willie Mullins teamed up successfully in the MCR Hurdle.
Final Approach landed the valuable MCR Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday from stablemate Call The Police with a stylish performance.
At least half of the 26 strong field was still in contention rounding the turn for home but Paul Townend was always travelling strongly aboard Final Approach who was having only his fourth start over hurdles.
The lightly raced gelding belied his inexperience to scythe through the pack under Townend and quickened clear from the final flight to score by two lengths.
The Willie Mullins trained five year old was a popular winner with the punters having been supported into 6-1 from double figure prices but it was also a moment to savour for owner Douglas Taylor who is managing director of the race sponsors.
Mullins also had good reason to look back on the race with pride as he was also responsible for the second home, Call The Police, who was making his debut for the yard after 399 days off the track.
He was returned at 16-1 with outsiders Mutadarek and Northern Alliance filling the places in the valuable handicap with the favourite, Prima Vista, coming under pressure early in the straight under a 15lb penalty.
"It was fantastic. It's not often a plan comes together like that." said Mullins.
"Paul got there a bit soon but made up his mind and won well.
"His last run gave some encouragement because he shaped as if he was going to win, but just got tired.
"In races like that you need to get all the breaks. He's not a big horse so we'll probably just stay handicapping.
"Emmet (Mullins) gave Call The Police a good ride to finish second too.''