Julian Wilson, the former BBC Racing presenter, has died at the age of 73.
Wilson was correspondent for the channel from 1966 until his retirement in 1997, during which time the corporation held the rights to many of the major Festivals which meant he was a well-recognised figure on television screens.
Thousand Stars (4-1) has so often been a bit-part player in major events but he had the Keelings Irish Strawberry Hurdle all to himself at Fairyhouse.
Representing Willie Mullins and Paul Townend, who landed the opening juvenile hurdle with Ivan Grozny, the popular grey had not won since landing the French Champion Hurdle almost two years ago but he had finished a respectable third to Whisper at Aintree and his confident pilot did not need to get serious as they coasted away for a resounding success.
Despite a decade of sustained success, it is perhaps surprising Willie Mullins is yet to land the Irish Grand National. TOUCH THE EDEN (Fairyhouse, 5.00) and last year’s runner-up Away We Go provide the Irish Champion trainer with a terrific chance of registering that landmark victory and preference is for the former who comes into the race looking to complete a hat-trick.
The curtain falls on the National Hunt season in style again this year with the 5-day Punchestown Festival in Ireland and GG.COM is pleased that the Festival’s Day 1 sponsor, Boylesports, has also agreed to sponsor our Punchestown Pontoon Challenge.