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Dolcita clings on for Listed glory at Fairyhouse

Dolcita denied the strong late thrust of Hurricane Georgie to provide Willie Mullins with a third straight victory in the BoyleSports Irish Grand National April 18th Mares Chase at Fairyhouse.

The champion trainer had landed the last two renewals of the Listed contest with Camelia De Cotte and last month’s Cheltenham Festival heroine Elimay respectively.

And despite being beaten by the reopposing Jeremys Flame on a couple of occasions this season, Dolcita was the even-money favourite to add her name to the roll of honour under Paul Townend.

Sent straight to the lead from flag-fall, the seven-year-old fenced fluently to keep the chasing pack at bay and looked likely to win decisively after seeing off Jeremys Flame after the home turn.

However, 25-1 shot Hurricane Georgie was not far behind jumping the final fence and finished the stronger of the pair, with Dolcita clinging on grimly by a head.

Jeremys Flame suffered a heavy fall at the final fence, but did eventually get to her feet.

Mullins said of the winner: “She was very brave and Paul was very brave on her. He decided beforehand that he was going to be very positive on her as he felt she was a good jumper.

“He wanted to make more use of that and hoped that the better ground would suit her, which I think it has.

“She’s a very game mare and she’s not afraid to have a good cut at her fences.

“When I saw the entries for the race I thought it was going to be tough to beat Jeremys Flame.

“I think our mare has improved all season and that’s paid off today. There is a Grade Two mares’ chase in Punchestown that Elimay goes for and this mare will probably have to get an entry and join her.”

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