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By Martin Kelly, Press Association Sport. Last Updated: 29/12/09 4:27pm
Voler La Vedette - heading for Irish Champion next.
Voler La Vedette will have her mettle tested in the Irish Champion Hurdle on January 24 after she continued her winning spree in the ITBA Fillies Scheme EBF Mares Hurdle at Leopardstown.
Trainer Colm Murphy will use the Grade One test as a marker for the five-year-old to determine her Cheltenham Festival target, with the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle and the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle her two options.
The 1-3 favourite has few peers amongst her own sex and the winner of seven of her nine starts slaughtered subsequent Fighting Fifth and Christmas Hurdle winner Go Native at Down Royal last month.
Although she lacked the killer turn of foot which was so evident on that occasion, Paul Townend was nicely on top at the death and came two lengths clear of the field.
Murphy said: "Paul said she was doing too much, so dropping her back to two miles with a fast pace will suit her.
"We will throw her into the deep end now and give her an entry in the Irish Champion Hurdle next month.
"That will tell us where to go afterwards. She will have an entry in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, but the mares' race is the obvious place to go."
William Hill trimmed her to 7-2 for the Mares' Hurdle, while she remains unchanged at 20-1 with the same firm for the Champion Hurdle on March 16.There was more joy for Murphy later in the afternoon as former classy bumper performer Zaarito was not extended to notch a first success over fences in the Ryans Event Cleaners Beginners Chase.
The Denis O'Regan-ridden 7-2 chance sauntered away from the field and was value for far more than his eight-length winning margin.
Murphy said: "He could go up or down in trip and I'm delighted with the manner in which he won.
"He was misfortunate to come against Captain Cee Bee the last day and we all saw what he did earlier in the week.
"He will more than likely come back here for the Arkle."
Willie Mullins was left disappointed by the performance of Cooldine in the Lexus Chase, but his son Patrick got the show back on the road aboard Don't Turn Bach in the Affordable Racehorse Ownership At www.winningwaysracing.ie INH Flat Race.
Having been available at 3-1 in the morning, the five-year-old started as the 6-4 favourite and got the better of Our Girl Salley to collect by a length and a quarter.
Mullins said: "He's a nice horse and is an out-and-out stayer.
"We will probably find a maiden hurdle for him in the new year and he is a chaser in the making."
Mouse Morris registered his second winner of the four-day meeting as Scavenger came back to form after three falls to cause a 12-1 upset in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Chase.
Morris said: "He battled very well and seems to have got his jumping in order."