Allaho jumps to victory under Patrick Mullins
Allaho won the John Durkan

John Durkan Chase report, reaction & free replay: Allaho makes winning return at Punchestown

Allaho made a successful seasonal reappearance in the Grade One John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase on Sunday.

Willie Mullins' devastating Ryanair Chase winner suffered defeat on his final start of last season when second to Chacun Pour Soi at Punchestown, but was sent off a well-backed 7/2 chance going back up in trip under the trainer's son, Patrick.

He set out to make it a thorough test of stamina and, despite jumping out to his left at times, had plenty of his high-class rivals in trouble soon after halfway. The one major threat appeared to be stable companion Asterion Forlonge, who still seemed to have plenty left in the tank before making a serious blunder and giving his rider Bryan Cooper no chance of staying intact three fences from the finish.


Allaho, with a reduced lead, clambered over the second last, by which point another stablemate, Janidil, plugged on gamely as the one final challenger, but the winner found more on touching down after the last and stayed on to win by a couple of lengths.

Janidil was second at 22/1 under Jody McGarvey, with third going to yet another from the Mullins yard - perennial bridesmaid Melon (50/1). The 7/4 favourite Envoi Allen - sporting the same Cheveley Park Stud silks as the winner - was disappointing back in sixth.

Betfair cut Allaho to 5/2 from 7/2 to retain his Ryanair title in March, while halving Asterion Forlonge's King George odds to 8/1. Sky Bet go 11/4 from 7/2 about Allaho for a Ryanair repeat.

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Mullins said of the winner: “I was delighted how he fought back. When Asterion Forlonge came up alongside him I thought that would take the stuffing out of him. Each challenger that came, he kept pulling it out.

“He raced very lazily today which is not like him and he was going a bit to his left which is not like him, so we will have to look at all that for the future.”

Allaho was winning on his seasonal bow for the first time and Mullins expects all of his runners to come on for the outing, with the winner’s class proving crucial.

He added: “Our horses are not fully wound up yet and I was hoping his ability would pull him through. Taking on horses with a run under their belt can be very tough.

“I was very happy with the way they all performed and hoping they will all improve from that."

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