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  • 17:30 Rabobank Champion Hurdle 2m

  • (Grade 1) €160,000 added 4yo+ 6 ran
  • Winner €96,000 2nd €30,400 3rd €14,400 4th €4,800
  • Going: Good (Chase - Yielding, Good to Yielding in places)
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 3m 49.60s
  • Off time: 17:33:02

Hurricane Fly facile winner

Star performance

Last Updated: 06/05/11 6:36pm

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Walsh and Mullins (right) celebrate

Walsh and Mullins (right) celebrate

The Willie Mullins-trained superstar Hurricane Fly was a facile winner of the Rabobank Champion Hurdle at Punchestown.

The race threatened to turn into a farce when no horse was prepared to make the running after the tapes went up, Tony McCoy eventually deciding to press on aboard Binocular.

He jumped sketchily and to his left through the early stages and was headed by Menorah turning for home.

However that rival's run soon petered out and Ruby Walsh brought the eventual winner through to lead hard on the bridle.

He merely had to shake the reins and his partner went clear to beat staying-on stablemate Thousand Words by five lengths with Binocular back in third.

Walsh said: "He's a very, very good horse. "He showed that at Cheltenham, and he's shown it here.

"It was a messy race, but Menorah and Binocular are high-class hurdlers.

"Who knows what next year will bring, but I wouldn't want to be getting off him.

"He's a cracking horse."

Mullins added: "He was just awesome, and that's the best I've seen from him. "This is his track on our home ground although I confess that I wasn't so confident halfway through the race.

"We knew it would be a messy race, but I thought it would suit him and Ruby said that he was always travelling.

"There are no big plans for him. I'll just concentrate on getting him home in one piece and I'd imagine our focus will be based around Cheltenham next season and then come on here.

"What we have done this year is enough, and I wouldn't mind repeating the dose."

Of the runner-up, the County Carlow handler added: "Thousand Stars came second and held up the Irish form as well.

"I'm going to see what his Flat mark is and we might run him on the Flat over the summer as he has improved a lot."

The winner is 7/4 with Sky Bet to defend his crown in the Stan James Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

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