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Punchestown

  • 11:55 Punchestown Gift Vouchers For Christmas Beginners Chase2m 4f

  • €12,000 added 4yo+ 12 ran
  • Winner €8,280 2nd €1,920 3rd €840 4th €480
  • Going: Soft to Heavy, Heavy in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 5m 21.30s
  • Off time: 11:56:31

A mistake at the final obstacle cost Mikael D'Haguenet a first victory over fences in the Punchestown Gift Vouchers Beginners Chase

Last Updated: 17/11/12 1:00pm

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Mikael D'Haguenet (L): Involved in drama in the Punchestown Gift Vouchers Beginners Chase

Mikael D'Haguenet (L): Involved in drama in the Punchestown Gift Vouchers Beginners Chase

A mistake at the final obstacle cost Mikael D'Haguenet a first victory over fences in the Punchestown Gift Vouchers Beginners Chase.

Willie Mullins' charge was a Grade One winner over hurdles but has so far failed to show the same sparkle in six chase starts.

This two-and-a-half-mile heat looked set to be a match between Mikael D'Haguenet and another classy hurdler, Mount Benbulben, with the pair sent off the 5-4 joint-favourites.

Paul Townend set out to make all on Mikael D' Haguenet and it looked to be a winning move as Mount Benbulben crashed out at the third-last leaving Mullins' runner in the driving seat.

However, a minor mistake at the penultimate obstacle was followed by a mishap at the last when he jumped the fence but slithered on landing.

Townend managed to stay aboard but Mikael D'Haguenet had lost all momentum and despite his best efforts to get going again, El Fontan swooped through to win by two and three-quarter lengths.

Mullins said: "We took the bold option of making the running. He'd been schooling well at home and I was delighted with the way he jumped earlier in the race.

"I didn't dream that the going was going to be that testing. I'd say race fitness just caught him out."

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