Day 1 of The Christmas Festival at Leopardstown is in the books.
The featured Grade One Novice Chase went to favourite Ferny Hollow for Paul Townend and Willie Mullins.
Speaking after the win, Mullins was full of praise, even admitting that his preparation ahead of the race wasn’t ideal, but he will aim him towards Dublin Racing Festival in February next.
The Mullins-trained Sir Gerard also clamed the Thorntons Recycling Maiden Hurdle with Paul Townend on board.
The other graded race of the day, the Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle was another impressive outing for Gordon Elliott’s Fil Dor as he opened the Christmas account for Davy Russell and the trainer on what turned out to be an impressive day around the country for the Cullentra House outfit.
The days’ grandstand finish was reserved for the TRI Equestrian Novice Handicap, where Elliott and Russell picked up their second win with The Greek. Although the eventual winner, The Greek and Belgoprince could only be separated after a photo finish after an exhilarating battle up the straight.
Elsewhere on St. Stephen’s Day
In Limerick, the Grade One Faugheen Novice Chase was won by Master McShee at 10/1.
While across the water, at Kempton, the King George Chase went to 28-1 outsider Tornado Flyer for Danny and Willie Mullins.