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Leopardstown

  • 15:10 Synergy Security Solutions Novice Hurdle 2m 4f

  • (Grade 2) €39,500 added 5yo+ 6 ran
  • Winner €25,675 2nd €7,505 3rd €3,554 4th €1,186
  • Going: Soft to Heavy
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 4m 59.80s
  • Off time: 15:12:21

Sure Reef swoops late for unlikely victory

Last Updated: 26/01/14 3:46pm

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Sure Reef (far side): Took Grade Two honours

Sure Reef (far side): Took Grade Two honours

Fresh from securing a fourth Irish Champion Hurdle with the incredible Hurricane Fly, Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh quickly doubled up as Sure Reef put up a remarkable performance to win the Synergy Security Solutions Novice Hurdle.

A winner over the course and distance on his second start over hurdles last month, the 9/4 joint-favourite tracked the front-running Gallant Tip heading down the back straight, but was then taken to the back of the field before jumping the second flight from the finish.

He still had each of his rivals in front of him at the top of the home straight, but Walsh got him rolling approaching the last hurdle.

Moonshine Lad was crying out for the line in front, but Sure Reef picked him up to take the Grade Two prize by three-quarters of a length, with the other joint-favourite, Gilt Shadow, back in third.

Mullins said: "He was very free and I was a little worried about him. Ruby decided to take him back, pull him out of it and give him a breather.

"He took a chance coming down the outside. It worked, but it wasn't plan A. Ruby felt that he couldn't continue to pull and run a race, so he wanted to get his lungs filled.

"It took him a while to get going as he's a big horse with a long stride. He's a fair sort and did a fantastic bit of work during the week. When I was giving Ruby the leg up I was thinking to myself, 'Did we bring the right horse?'.

"He's still fairly big, which tells me there's huge improvement in him. My one worry about a race like the Albert Bartlett (at Cheltenham) is would he be too keen? But Ruby says he stays all day.

"He's a horse I'd love to go back on to the Flat with. He goes on good ground and he has a Flat career as well."

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