El Fabiolo on the mark at Punchestown

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El Fabiolo maintained his unbeaten record over fences with a bloodless victory in the Barberstown Castle Novice Chase at Punchestown. The winner of the Irish Arkle at Leopardstown in February before downing Jonbon and justifying favouritism in the Cheltenham Festival equivalent, Willie Mullins' six-year-old was sent off the 1/4 favourite to complete his novice chasing campaign in style. Prone to hitting the odd fence, El Fabiolo got his jumping errors out the way early on this occasion before producing a professional round of fencing and he travelled smoothly in second in the hands of Paul Townend as Dysart Dynamo cut his usual bold sight from the front under Danny Mullins. In a matter of strides El Fabiolo breezed alongside his stablemate approaching the second last and the result was soon a simple formality as having picked off Dysart Dynamo with ease, Townend kicked clear on the run to the last before coasting home for a facile 11-length success. Mullins has now won this Grade One contest eight years in a row, while this was his 10th victory overall in the two mile event. Meanwhile the performance from El Fabiolo was enough for the gelding to be made bookies 6/4 favourite for next year's Queen Mother Champion Chase. "I was wondering about four out had Danny stole a march but Paul said the minute he pulled his lad out and said go he just lit up underneath him," said Mullins. "He was a bit ring rusty over the first few fences. "He looks all over a two-miler. He can go up in trip and I'd have no problem going two and a half as he's nice and relaxed. "He's improving all the time but the way he does things over two miles he may stay at that. Paul is all the time pulling him back to keep the lid on him." On Dysart Dynamo, he added: "Dysart Dynamo doesn't know when to give up and that might even be his downfall. It was great to see him getting up at Cheltenham, he got a horrendous fall but he got up, shook himself and he's been fine since." Mullins trains 16 horses for owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede and all 15 that have run this season for the Closutton handler have found the scoresheet. The final horse, Readin Tommy Wrong, will attempt to complete the clean sweep when he is due to run at Ballinrobe next Tuesday.

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