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Whiskey Sour wins eventful Grade 1 as stablemates crash out at last

Extraordinary. What other word could you possibly use to describe one of the most dramatic races ever witnessed at Leopardstown? 

So bizarre were the scenes that Sue Barker will probably show you the replay in a few years time during the 'what happened next' round of A Question Of Sport. Nobody will guess the answer either. 

Let's go in chronological order. First hot favourite Mengli Khan crashed through the wing of the second-last when travelling comfortably at the head of affairs.

That appeared to hand the initiative to main market rival, Real Steel, but he was soon swamped by stablemate Sharjah and Patrick Mullins. Then the real drama.

It looked sure to be a Willie Mullins-trained 1-2-3 coming down to the last but Sharjah crashed out when narrowly in front and Real Steel did likewise, completely independently. It is lucky that Mullins had one more left as Whiskey Sour picked up the pieces under David Mullins despite being the fourth-best horse in the race. 

Perhaps the Betfair exchanges best sums up what we saw. Whiskey Sour hit a high of 300, Sharjah traded at a low of 1.04 and Real Steal got down to 1.15. 

Willie Mullins, as stunned as everyone else, said: "It was extraordinary stuff and I was just waiting for them to bring down our third runner and really cap the day. Whiskey Sour was definitely the fourth of ours coming into the race and he ends up winning it. It was just an extraordinary race.

"I've never seen anything like it. Losing the other race in the stewards room, then Mengli Khan jumping out at the second-last. I thought at least then we'd be first, second and third going to the last and then the two of them fall individually.

Mullins added: "I said to David, 'How did you miss all those horses' and he said, 'It's lucky he's small'. He's probably the smallest horse in the yard. It was a lucky win, end of story. The other two horses ran very well. They were probably lucky that Mengli Khan ran out. It was an extraordinary race and I don't know what to take from it."

Willie Mullins was completing a hat-trick in the Grade 1 after wins for Long Dog and Saturnas in 2015 and 2016.

 

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