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Energumene impresses with easy Ryanair triumph |  Race news

Energumene provided Willie Mullins with another first year winner at the Punchestown Festival during the run in the Ryanair Novice Chase.

Having added to his record in high profile events when Klassical Dream challenged a long absence in the Stayers Hurdle, that success probably seemed far from home.

Energumene was denied a clash with Shishkin in the Arkle at Cheltenham due to a small setback, but he recovered quickly and was sent off from the 2-5 favorite to beat a field of just three rivals.

One of those was his stable mate Janadil, a first year winner last time around, while captain Guinness this time took the lead as he tried to set the pace for Cheltenham.

He might not have a say in it though, as Energumene left with a rare lick under Paul Townend and jumped well, just clearing up more.

In the straight, Captain Guinness ran empty and ended up knocking down Rachael Blackmore, but Janadil had already taken second place.

Energumene came home 16 lengths ahead and Paddy Power immediately reduced him to 6-1 from 12 for next year’s Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

Mullins said: “He seems to have come to himself. He was very skillful at first, encountered a few scythes in the back, but once he got his eye back in the last four it was brilliant.

“It was a great performance to end the season.

“It was a nice surprise to get him back because I thought when we had to take him out of Cheltenham we would miss Punchestown.

“He just recovered really quickly. We were hoping to get him back to Fairyhouse but it didn’t work out so I said we better take our time and come here and it paid off.”

When asked if he would go any further, Mullins added: “He gained over two and a half miles and won a point to point, the only reason I came back was because he was so skillful in jumping.

“I thought he would be a two and a half mile horse, more like Janidil, but when he jumps well he looks more like a hedge over fences.

“I imagine we’ll go down the Champion Chase route first and see how that goes.

“This is a good gift for (the owner) Tony Bloom.”

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