Ireland’s perennial champion National Hunt trainer saddled no less than seven runners in the prestigious staying handicap, with long-time ante-post favourite Stratum and Cheltenham Festival heroine Limini spearheading the formidable team.
As the field approached the final half-mile of the two-mile-two-furlong contest, the Ian Williams-trained Stars Over The Sea and Paul Nicholls’ Cliffs Of Dover led the 33 runners, but faded away as Low Sun and Seamie Heffernan hit the front.
Uradel was travelling noticeably well in behind in the hands of Billy Lee and the pair drew clear entering the final furlong.
Uradel did his best to get on terms, but with the rail to help, Low Sun dug deep to win the battle by a neck.
The heavily backed 4-1 favourite Southern France never threatened to land a telling blow.
A delighted Willie Mullins said afterwards: “I'm delighted, it's such an iconic race and will become even more so in the future given the way prize money is going.
“Low Sun is such a tough horse, he never gives up and he's such a grafter, the more you ask from him the more he gives.
“I told Aidan O'Brien that I had one for Seamie [Heffernan]. I thought from the beginning he would be the perfect match for Low Sun, he's such a grafter and he never gives up in his races, just like the horse he rode today, so they were a match made in heaven.
“They went hard, I think it probably ran more like a two and a half mile race, which would have suited Low Sun because of the way he races.
“Once he was in front up the rail I knew he would be very hard to pass.”
The victory meant Seamie Heffernan was completing a big-race double on the day, after he steered Norway to victory in the opening Zetland Stakes.
Uradel’s jockey, Billy Lee, said: “I had a lovely position the whole way. He took me into the race well and he got there going well, but I didn’t want to commit too soon.
“Saying that, when I let him down, he did pick up and you are always trying to be on one of Willie Mullins’s horses because they keep galloping to the line. My lad ran a cracker and loved the ground. It is quick enough but he handled it well.”
The Andrew Balding-trained Cleonte (25/1), who got off the mark for the season at Ascot last time, was a further length and a quarter back in third under Oisin Murphy.
Balding said: “I’m really pleased with the run. We got a little bit of traffic trouble early in the straight, but he has run his heart out and it was a good effort. That will probably be it for the year.”
Vis A Vis (10/1) was attempting to record a hat-trick following wins at Sandown and Kempton, and had excuses in finishing fourth, according to trainer Neil Mulholland.
He said: “We have made it clear all week that we were waiting for a bit more juice in the ground. It didn’t help us that it didn’t arrive.
“He may have been that little bit better (had it rained), but he’s run a great race. We’re in the winner’s enclosure and it is a fantastic race to be part of.
“All summer has been about today – and he’s done himself proud, the yard proud and the owners proud. We’ll hope to come back next year. It would be nice.”
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