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Mr Adjudicator lays down the law as Mullins claims sixth Barka in eight years

With five of the nine runners Willie Mullins might have anticipated taking a fair slice of the €165,000 prize fund home but a one-two which featured Mr Adjudicator denying favourite Bapaume would have been one of the happier outcomes he might have contemplated. 

With Blue Dragon and Stormy Ireland taking one another on for the lead, Bertrand Lestrade was able to creep away quietly on Mr Adjudicator before firing his willing partner at the last hurdle. 

Standing in for his father, Patrick Mullins – who won a Punchestown handicap on Mr Adjudicator two starts ago – was quick to point out the winner's back class. 

"He won a Grade 1 as a four-year-old and then most of this season things went wrong for him, he had little niggly troubles," said Mullins.

"The last day here [in the Grande Course de Haies] he got badly hampered, while he didn't jump very well on his first try over these hurdles. 

"Getting the weight he was entitled to improve and he did. He's similar to Bapaume in that two and a half miles is his trip. Looking at him, he isn't going to be a chaser, but he does have quite an attractive Flat mark so we might exploit that at some stage."

"Bapaume was conceding two kilos and I do think that Bertrand gave Mr Adjudicator a particularly good ride."

Elsewhere on the card, the Mullins team suffered the loss of Irish Grand National runner-up Isleofhopendreams in the Prix des Drags, who was fatally injured at the water jump in front of the stands.

There was an Anglo-Irish flavour to the finish of the race as the Louisa Carberry-trained Docteur De Ballon, ridden by Felix de Giles, lost out by a short head to Jubilatoire. 

Docteur De Ballon fell when moving into contention during last month's Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris and came agonisingly close to giving Carberry the biggest win of her career to date. 

"It's disappointing in the sense that I thought he'd won but I have to be very happy with the way he ran," said Carberry. "He jumped well and Jubilatoire was the one that I was very afraid of beforehand."

Winning trainer Isabelle Pacault secured a notable double having sent out Carriacou to win the Grand Steep three weeks ago.

There was no fairytale repeat success for Baie Des Iles, who flattened out under Sean Flanagan to finish eighth.

"She'll stay in France now with David Cottin for a change of scenery," said Ross O'Sullivan. "That was the plan all year, that she would stay in France for the autumn and then maybe she would be covered. She has been great for me and a huge highlight."

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