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Last Updated: 07/05/11 5:25pm
Grandouet - impressive victory.
Grandouet impressively won the Grade One AES Champion 4yo Hurdle at Punchestown.
Trained by Nicky Henderson, Grandouet had moved smoothly into contention in the Triumph Hurdle on his penultimate start only to be found wanting on the climb to the line and was then brought down at Aintree when holding every chance.
There were no such problems here for Barry Geraghty's mount who comfortably reversed Cheltenham Festival form with beaten favourite Unaccompanied, who never appeared to be travelling as easily as she had in March.
Geraghty was always close to the pace set by fellow British raiders Pullyourfingerout and Kumbeshwar and moved to their outside travelling strongly on the home turn.
However, Willie Mullins' French import Twinlight was also moving easily on his outside but Twinlight weakened tamely when Geraghty pushed the button and Ruby Walsh's mount faded into third with Alan King's Kumbeshwar taking the runner-up spot.
Henderson said: "He deserved that for his consistency, honesty and above all his jumping.
"We always thought that Aintree was more his track than Cheltenham but he was brought down there.
"It can be tough for a four-year-old to run in three festivals but he always looked like he would win today.
"We have all summer to think of plans, but Barry suggests going chasing. There's a thing called Hurricane Fly to worry about if we stay hurdling."
Grandouet was cut to 16-1 from 25s for the 2012 Champion Hurdle by Victor Chandler but Sky Bet were not as impressed, offering 20-1 from 33s.