Cilaos Emery made it three from three over fences with an
impressive display in the Kerry Group Hilly Way Chase at Cork, writes Justin O'Hanlon.
That gave champion trainer Willie Mullins his 11th success in the race and further strengthened his hand in the two-mile chase division.
The lightly-raced French-bred horse showed why he is one of the leading long-range contenders for the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase with a decisive defeat of chief market rival Ballyoisin under Danny Mullins.
Ballyoisin had set a good gallop, and with their other rival Great Field exiting proceedings four out when not out of contention, it was left to the two principals to fight it out in the straight.
In truth, it did not prove much of a battle. Cilaos Emery travelled well to the lead before the second-last and put the race to bed quickly, winning by a comfortable seven lengths and showing that if there is a progressive chaser in this division, he
could be it
Winning jockey Danny Mullins said: “It was a good performance and he's really making up for lost time now.
“You would like to think he is a Grade 1 performer over fences, which he was over hurdles. He jumps fences well and had to today – for a small field it was a very competitive race.”
A good day for Willie Mullins continued when improving mare Elimay made a winning debut over fences in the Grade 3 Kerry Group Irish EBF Mares Novice Chase.