Willie Mullins Paul Townend El Fabiolo state Indiana county Pierce Racing Thurles Sport Willie Mullins Paul Townend El Fabiolo state Indiana county Pierce

Flame Bearer blazes trail at Thurles

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Flame Bearer turned in a fine round of jumping to regain the winning thread in the Pierce Molony Memorial Novice Chase at Thurles.Representing the Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning team of Willie Mullins and Paul Townend, Flame Bearer was sent off the 11-10 favourite for this Grade Three affair despite having suffered defeat on his two most recent starts.He proved no match for his stablemate El Fabiolo - victorious in the Arkle on Tuesday - while the reopposing Indiana Jones had him back in third in the Flyingbolt Novice Chase at Navan at the start of the month.

However, in receipt of 7lb from that rival this time around, Flame Bearer made no mistakes, travelling supremely well for Townend before grabbing the lead turning for home.He fairly cantered clear and took the last with plenty in hand, eventually coming home a 13-length winner over Upping The Anti, with Indiana Jones only fourth.Paul Townend said: "I thought after he ran the last day that he would be better left go along (in front) and he got into a better rhythm jumping."He still needs to brush up a bit, but he knows where his feet are and he likes being left to do that."He has a mistake in him, but he warmed up to it quite well and turned around form with Indiana Jones."

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