Lifetime Ambition wins for the Doyles

Trainer Pat Doyle cannot wait to see Lifetime Ambition run over the big Aintree fences, but that will have to wait another year after the nine-year-old had little difficulty brushing aside his rivals under the trainer's daughter Susie in the 2m4f hunter chase at Cork on Monday.

However, the champion hunter chase at Punchestown will have to be the target for this season as he does not qualify for Aintree, having run in the Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown in December 2022.

A happy Doyle said: "He was a lovely horse to get. He's been a lucky and an unlucky horse for Susie. She fell off him the last day unfortunately, and she gave out to me for her getting beaten a length at Ballindenisk. I wasn't riding him, she was, but she gave out to me! I don't know how that works but sure the women are always right!"

He added: "It is a pity we don't qualify for Aintree. He was placed in the John Durkan but it was less than 18 months before, so that counts him out. We thought we had the real deal for Aintree and the trip would have suited him perfectly. We'll go to Punchestown now if the ground is okay. If it's heavy we'll wait for Killarney, but hopefully the plan will still be alive for next year."

Backmersackme another gem for Mullins

Emmet Mullins made the trip to watch the Paul Byrne-owned Backmersackme contest the first of two point-to-point bumpers on the card and he was not disappointed as John Gleeson partnered the son of Getaway to a decisive if workmanlike victory.

The winner travelled to the front inside the two-furlong pole, and from there he was just doing enough to see off the persistent front-runner Custom Taylor by three and three-quarter lengths.

The £70,000 paid for the five-year-old at the Cheltenham December Sales already looks potentially like money well spent and Mullins said: "John was good and patient and delivered him with a well-timed run. 

"It was very straightforward. John said he was quite green today and will come on for it, and he could definitely be a better horse on better ground. He might get an entry in a winners' bumper at Punchestown and maybe a summer maiden hurdle. I think we have done good business at the Cheltenham sales again."

Gleeson completed a double in the mares' point-to-point bumper on track newcomer Air Of Entitlement for Robcour and Henry de Bromhead, an across-the-card double for the owner-trainer combination after the victory of Journey With Me in the Grade 2 chase at Fairyhouse.