Former showjumper Jack Foley rides dream double at Punchestown

Sun 15 Nov 2020

Jack Foley had only ridden one winner on his arrival at Punchestown on Sunday, but he left on a high after partnering a double with Chavi Artist and Grand Partner for Tom Mullins.

A former showjumper and amateur jockey, Foley, 21, was seen to great effect on Chavi Artist (7-1) in Ryans Cleaning Handicap Chase, getting some great leaps out of his mount to win by four lengths.

“I’m with Tom full-time and only had two rides as a professional before today,” said Foley, who had a winner as an amateur last month.

Foley drew praise from Ruby Walsh before and after his first success on Sunday. And the 21-year-old went on to complete a double

Mullins said: “Jack was with me five years ago as an apprentice and rode Fosters Cross at Dundalk. He’s come back to me this summer and is a different man altogether now.

“He said he’d do anything to have a crack at being a jockey. He’s put in a lot of work, I’ve given him his opportunity and it’s working out.”

Of Chavi Artist, Mullins added: “He was threatening to win one on his last few runs. Discordantly got away on him in Galway and he would have been a good bit closer only for that. He was first reserve in the Troytown last week, but didn’t get in.

“He’s such a fresh horse he might take his chance in the Porterstown in Fairyhouse. Hopefully we’ll have the same rider, if he can do the weight.”

Grand Partner came with a late rattle to win the Guinness Handicap Hurdle at 33-1.

Mullins said: “It was a lovely race for him and even though it was right-handed, I let him take his chance. Most of his wins were at Leopardstown or left-handed tracks.

“It’s a bit of a surprise, but he’s been working well since his last run. He’s come down in the weights and Jack was good on him.”

Willie Mullins, Tom’s brother, dominated the Listed Frontline Security Grabel Mares Hurdle with only a pixel separating Buildmeupbuttercup (3-1) and stablemate Elimay.

Mullins said: “Fitness probably just won it on the day. Paul (Townend on the winner) had to go when he did, but he’d prefer to wait longer. She stuck her head out on the line.

“It’s good to know she can stay that sort of trip on this ground. She’s had a busy season and I’ll have to have a think about where she goes next. I don’t want to run her again soon.

“Elimay will mix it over fences and hurdles. It was hard to take it up so far out having her first run of the season, but she was very unlucky.”

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