John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase: Min secures back-to-back victories

Min clears a fence on his way to victory at the County Kildare track on Sunday
Min clears a fence on his way to victory at the County Kildare track on Sunday

Min repeated last year's victory in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase with a two and a quarter lengths win in the Grade One race.

Paul Townend set out to make all the running on the Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old and the 8-11 favourite won after a gritty performance.

"I thought it was an unbelievable performance," said Mullins.

Hardline briefly hit the front before finishing second at 25-1, while 10-1 shot Presenting Percy was third.

Min is the eighth horse to win the race over two and a half miles for a second time.

Hardline loomed menacingly and moved in front between the last two fences, but Min rallied and soon regained the lead to land the coveted prize.

Mullins added: "I think he wanted to go faster, but it's hard to judge what is happening in that wind.

"To come back from what I thought was certain defeat after the second-last was very good. He picked up and threw a huge leap at the last and was going away after the last.

"I think he can jump way better than that and can improve from that run. He can go over two miles or two and a half."

Meanwhile, Top Notch (15-8 fav) won the Fitzdares Peterborough Chase for a second time with a three-quarters-of-a-length victory at Huntingdon on Sunday.

Kauto Riko (100-1) came in second while La Bague Au Roi (11-4) completed the top three.