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Last Updated: 06/04/13 5:00pm
Solwhit on his way to victory at Aintree
Solwhit cemented his reputation as this seaon's premier staying hurdler in Britain and Ireland with another stylish victory in the John Smith's Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree.
Victorious in last month's World Hurdle, any suggestion of fluke was dis-spelled with a forthright victory at 9/4.
Ridden more prominently than usual by Paul Carberry, the winner was nevertheless given a typically patient ride with the jockey happy to let others lay down their challenges first in the home straight before cruising to the front.
Smad Place went to the front three out under Wayne Hutchinson, with Holywell closing in and Won In The Dark also in contention. But none of them had an answer once Carberry took Solwhit to the front before the last.
Holywell (9/1) kept on for second place, with Smad Place (5/1) rallying for third close home.
"He was absolutely brilliant today. He travelled great the whole way and jumped absolutely brilliant," said Carberry, who had to pass the doctor to be able to take the ride.
"I'd say he's nearly twice the horse today he was at Cheltenham."
Trainer Charles Byrnes added: "I thought he did it very well at Cheltenham, so I was confident today, even though there were a couple of other horses thrown in.
"The only problem with going to Punchestown is that the gap is quite small, but the three-mile race is the only option he has and he'll probably go if he's OK.
"He was going to go over fences at one stage, but at his age, I don't think we'll go that way.
"He'd have to be very good to beat Big Buck's, who is trained by a genius (Paul Nicholls), but you should never be scared of one horse."
Solwhit was cut by Sky Bet from 8/1 to 5/1 to retain his championship crown at Cheltenham in next year's Ladbrokes World Hurdle.