Allaho returns to action with easy Clonmel Oil Chase win for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend | Racing News

Allaho made the perfect return to action when making every yard of the running in the Clonmel Oil Chase.

The nine-year-old had not been seen in action since slamming Clan Des Obeaux over three miles in the Punchestown Gold Cup back in 2022.

However, he has made his name as a chaser over intermediate trips, winning the extended two-and-a-half-mile Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham twice in succession in devastating style.

A problem with his spleen meant he missed the whole of last season and he was having his first outing for 561 days, but Paul Townend was clearly not worried about fitness on the 1/4 favourite.

Out early for one of Willie Mullins’ stable stars, he was a little sticky at one or two fences on the way around but was never really in any danger.

With French Dynamite pulled out because of the ground, stablemate Janadil was the only real opposition and while he did close up on the run to the second last, two safe leaps ensured there was to be no drama and Allaho won by nine lengths.

Betfair and Paddy Power left the winner unchanged at 4/1 to win a third Ryanair after the race, while Coral were a far more generous 7/1 from 8s.

Allaho won the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham in 2021 and 2022

“He was a bit rusty early on and uncompetitive for the first couple of fences, but I wasn’t going revving him up. He certainly didn’t feel any smaller and is a big horse to try to organise, so you just let him do his thing,” said Townend.

“He is massive and I was chatting to Rachael (Blackmore) not that long ago – as she won the Ryanair (in 2021) on him – and he just covers so much ground. You think you are just lobbing along but he puts other horses under so much pressure.

“He took plenty of blows today and it is hard work with everything finishing tired. He was entitled to get tired having been off the track for so long, but it is job done and there is plenty to work on.

“It is brilliant to get him back and his engine looks to be there. It is job done and Willie can make a plan after this.”

Allaho was completing a quickfire double for Townend and Mullins after Allegorie De Vassy had won the preceding T.A. Morris Memorial Irish EBF Mares Chase.

The six-year-old, who was sent off the 8/11 favourite for the Listed contest, kept on well in the closing stages to see off the persistent challenge of stablemate Instit by two-and-a-quarter lengths.

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