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Punchestown

  • 16:20 AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle 2m

  • (Grade 1) €100,000 added 4yo 13 ran
  • Winner €62,000 2nd €19,000 3rd €9,000 4th €3,000
  • Going: Good to Yielding
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 3m 49.40s
  • Off time: 16:23:15

Tiger on prowl for Elliott

Last Updated: 02/05/14 12:42pm

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Tiger Roll: Going for another win

Tiger Roll: Going for another win

Tiger Roll attempts to add his name to the list of horses who have won at both Punchestown and Cheltenham when he runs in the AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle.

Gordon Elliott's juvenile was a very impressive winner of the Triumph Hurdle on just his third start over obstacles and if anything is open to more improvement than most of his rivals.

Arguably this is the most competitive Grade One of the whole week at the Festival as Tiger Roll takes on a large proportion of that Triumph Hurdle field again, including runner-up Kentucky Hyden and third Guitar Pete, plus Royal Irish Hussar, Pearl Castle, Lindenhurst and Plinth.

Elliott decided to give Aintree a swerve to keep Tiger Roll fresh for this and in his absence the consistent Dessie Hughes-trained Guitar Pete took the spoils on Merseyside

"It was only his third ever run over hurdles (at Cheltenham) and he looked very good," Elliott told At The Races.

"I think he's come on a bit again from it, but it will be no easy race in Punchestown.

"Dessie's horse (Guitar Pete) won well at Aintree and was third to us at Cheltenham.

"Our lad is in good form, I'd say the ground will be lovely and we're looking forward to it."

Dessie Hughes has had a somewhat frustrating week with several runners hitting the bar until Off The Charts won on Thursday.

As Guitar Pete benefited from a Paul Carberry masterclass in Liverpool, Hughes was keen to keep that partnership intact.

Speaking to Irish Horse TV, Hughes said: "Guitar Pete has been a real soldier for us, he's won three of his last four races.

"He was very good in Liverpool and Paul Carberry was very good on him so we were keen for him to be on again. He's in very good form and I'm hoping he can do it again."

John Quinn's Pearl Castle looked good at Doncaster twice earlier in the year but possibly found the stiff nature of the Cheltenham track beyond him in the Triumph.

That is certainly the view of North Yorkshire trainer Quinn, who could not be happier with his charge heading to Ireland.

"He will absolutely love the good ground and I think he'll be much better suited to the flatter track," said Quinn.

"Possibly the hill just found him at at Cheltenham, that's what we felt anyway as he'd looked very good on a flat track like Doncaster.

"It's a very good race, every bit as strong as the Triumph, but I'm very happy going over.

"I couldn't have him any better at home and he's going there nice and fresh, he didn't go to Aintree unlike some."

Kentucky Hyden and Royal Irish Hussar are both trained by Nicky Henderson with Barry Geraghty choosing the former, while Nick Williams runs Fox Norton who wears a hood for the first time.

Willie Mullins is also double-handed with Abbyssial who fell in the Triumph giving Ruby Walsh a broken arm, and the mare Adriana Des Mottes.

Another live one could be Edward O'Grady's Kitten Rock, who just failed to reel in Mullins' Ivan Grozny at Fairyhouse.

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