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Page last updated at 17:30 GMT, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 18:30 UK

Golden Silver wins Champion Chase at Punchestown

Winning jockey Paul Townend with Golden Silver's trainer Willie Mullins
Winning jockey Paul Townend with Golden Silver's trainer Willie Mullins

Golden Silver landed the big feature on the first day of the Punchestown Festival, finishing strongly to win the Champion Chase.

The 12-1 shot, trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Paul Townend, saw off Forpadydaplasterer and Arkle Chase winner and favourite Sizing Europe.

There was drama at the start when Paul Nicholls' Twist Magic refused to jump off under Tony McCoy.

Golden Silver was part of a 779-1 treble for winning trainer Mullins.

"We changed tactics today and Paul just took his time," said Mullins of his eight-year-old, who was winning for the second time since finishing sixth in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham in March.

"If that worked, we thought he might be around at the second-last, and he was.

"We always felt he needed heavy ground, but maybe the thing was just to ride him differently."

Golden Silver was always going well in behind the pace-setting Sizing Europe and stablemate Scotsirish.

Sizing Europe was still just in front at the second-last but not for the first time got in a bit tight and lost his advantage.

Forpadydeplasterer briefly hit the front but Golden Silver went past with ease to win by two and a half lengths leaving Tom Cooper's stable star second again with Sizing Europe third and Kalahari King fourth.

Trainer Mullins had two other Grade One winners on Tuesday with Blackstairmountain, also ridden by Townend, taking the Evening Herald Champion Novice Hurdle and Kempes, with McCoy on board, landing the Growise Champion Novice Chase.

The highlight of the five-day festival is Wednesday's Punchestown Gold Cup in which 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner War of Attrition is set for an emotional racecourse farewell.

He is up against Denman, who memorably beat Kauto Star in the 2008 Gold Cup and was runner-up in this feature year's race at Cheltenham. Champion Chase (Punchestown)
1. Golden Silver (P Townend) 12-1
2. Forpadydeplasterer (B Geraghty) 7-2
3. Sizing Europe (A Lynch) 5-2 fav
11 ran. Dist: 2½, 4½

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see also
Attrition poised for Denman duel
20 Apr 10 |  Horse Racing
Ash still causing sporting chaos
21 Apr 10 |  Sport Homepage
Big Zeb lands Champion Chase win
17 Mar 10 |  Horse Racing
BBC racing coverage
09 Apr 11 |  Horse Racing

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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES Mullins scores again with Quevega - 34 mins ago
Irish Independent Planet proves top raider as Denman gets 'left' behind - 10 hrs ago
The Independent Moody Denman loses his way at Punchestown - 17 hrs ago
British Horseracing Board Silver strikes Champion gold - 33 hrs ago Silver strikes gold in Champion Chase - 36 hrs ago


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