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Punchestown

  • 16:20 Evening Herald Champion Novice Hurdle 2m

  • (grade 1) €85,000 added 5yo+ 10 ran
  • Winner:
  • Going: Good (Cross Country: Good to Firm, Good in places)
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 3m 52.60s
  • Off time: 16:21:23

Champion Win For Blackstairmountain

Last Updated: 20/04/10 7:31pm

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Blackstairmountain - Punchestown winner.

Blackstairmountain - Punchestown winner.

Blackstairmountain showed his performance at Cheltenham to be all wrong with a smooth display in the Evening Herald Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown.

Willie Mullins' youngster was quietly fancied for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle but trailed home in 10th place that day.

Second at Fairyhouse in desperate ground over Easter, he travelled sweetly throughout for Paul Townend and swept past stablemate Flat Out turning into the straight.

The 5-1 second favourite was kept up to his work to win by two and a half lengths while Flat Out held off the challenge of Sweeps Hill for second.

Aintree winner General Miller was in trouble some way out while the well-backed Grey Soldier got rid of Davy Russell in the back straight.

Mullins said: "He loves this ground. He had a really hard race at Fairyhouse and probably learned an awful lot. I was disappointed with him at Cheltenham but I think the ground has made a huge difference to him today.

"Even though he had a hard race (I decided to run him), he didn't particularly work well during the week but I thought I'd take a chance as there is no point having them well next week.

"Flat Out ran a fantastic race too. It's a great start."

The winner was given a 20-1 quote for next year's Champion Hurdle by Victor Chandler.

Mullins, who saddled 12 winners at the meeting last year, continued: "He has had a very easy season so might have a couple of runs on the Flat before we put him out.

"We will stick to hurdling next season and see how he can go. I hope he makes a decent hurdler and I have always thought a fair bit of him."

Mullins is eyeing a trip to France for Flat Out, adding: "The ground was a bit too quick and a wetter Punchestown may have made a difference. It is possible we will go to Auteuil with him."

Nicky Henderson said of General Miller: "It may have come too quick (after Aintree) but it is hard to tell with only a few days between the meetings.

"He has had to travel too but he has run a good race."

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