Ballyward (Flemensfirth) On His Way To Winning The Grade 3 Novice Chase At Naas

Ballyward Continues Fine Week For Flemensfirth

The Willie Mullins-trained Ballyward (7g Flemensfirth - Ifyoucouldseemenow, by Saddler’s Hall) beat a strong field to win the Grade 3 Novice Chase at Naas on Sunday.

Having just his second start over fences, he was beaten just a short head last time out, his hurdle form boasted two fourths in Grade 1 contests last season. Ridden by Ruby Walsh for the first time, he chased the leaders for much of the way and was travelling strongly from the third last fence. Switching right after the second last, he improved to share the lead from the final fence and strode clear on the run-in to win by 11 lengths, as the short-priced favourite Chris’s Dream (Mahler) took second.

Mullins was pleased with his charge, commenting after the win, “That was a good performance second time over fences. He's in the National Hunt Chase and we'll see if he'll run again, maybe over a shorter trip for experience, before then.”

Owned by Andrea and Graham Wylie, Ballyward was purchased privately after finishing second on his point-to-point debut for William Dennison and Colin McKeever. Bred by Patrick Molloy, he is a grandson of the high-class mare Sallie’s Girl, who won two Graded races and finished second in the Grade 1 Drinmore Chase.