Willie Mullins found his second win of the day in the Ladbrokes Champions Stayers' Hurdle earlier today after a classy run from pre-race 3/1 joint favourite Klassical Dream.
Paul Townend rode the nine-year-old to victory for owner Joanne Coleman, fighting off competition from the likes of Asterion Forlonge, Teahupoo and Sire du Berlais who beat Klassical Dream in the Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham last month.
The Willie Mullins trained horse has now won the Champions Stayers' Hurdle the past three years and when it comes to running at Punchestown, there's few better.
Klassical Dream just LOVES @punchestownrace! 😍
� 2023@WillieMullinsNH's star stayer wins his THIRD Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle plus records his fourth Punchestown Festival victory 👏👏
What a performance! @PTownend pic.twitter.com/c0Ut5Mnvmk
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) April 27, 2023
Willie Mullins pays classy tribute to Joanne Coleman's late husband
Joanne Coleman will certainly enjoy tonight's celebrations after her horse's fantastic run at Punchestown. Klassical Dream was bought by Joanne's late husband John who passed away in 2018 after a battle with cancer.
Still to this day, Joanne carries her late husband's ashes with her everytime she goes to Punchestown and Willie Mullins paid tribute to John in his interview after the race.
Speaking to RTE, Mullins said:
Going and celebrating with Jo (Joanne Coleman) is no simple task. We'll have a good night anyhow.
It's great, your late husband John would have loved it wouldn't he? You know this is the one horse he bought for a bit of fun when he retired, and it worked out.
Joanne Coleman then spoke about bringing her husband's ashes to Punchestown.
Every time he (Klassical Dream) runs he comes with me.
Willie Mullins is a regular visitor to Auteuil and it sounds as if Klassical Dream will be heading back to Paris for the Grande Course de Haies d'Auteuil, a race he finished second in last season. pic.twitter.com/yfLQZtokRG
— RTÉ Racing (@RTEracing) April 27, 2023
A lovely touch from Willie Mullins whose memory undoubtedly lives on whenever his horse runs. After a disappointing run at Cheltenham, there's certainly no better way to bounce back than a win at Punchestown just over a month later.