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Fairyhouse

  • 13:50 Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle 2m 4f

  • (Grade 1) €80,001 added 4yo+ 4 ran
  • Winner €52,000 2nd €15,199 3rd €7,200 4th €2,400
  • Going: Soft to Heavy
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 5m 13.10s
  • Off time: 13:53:05

Full result

13:50 Fairyhouse Result 4th December 2011
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st Voler La Vedette (IRE) 11-3 A E Lynch C A Murphy 7 7/4
Held up in touch, headway on outer to challenge 2 out, soon led and asserted before last, kept on well run-in opened 13/8 touched 7/4
2nd Mourad (IRE) 11-10 R Walsh W P Mullins 6 5/4f
Tracked leader in 2nd, headway to challenge entering straight, ridden and no impression in 3rd approaching last, 2nd on run-in and kept on same pace under pressure without threatening winner opened 5/4 touched 11/8
3rd hd The Real Article (IRE) 11-10 B J Geraghty E J O'Grady 6 10/3
Tracked leaders in 3rd, pushed along to challenge entering straight, no impression in 4th after 2 out, kept on one pace under pressure without troubling winner opened 7/2 touched 7/2
4th 7 Final Approach 11-10 P Townend W P Mullins 5 16/1
Led, strongly pressed entering straight, headed after 2 out and soon no impression on winner, no extra run-in and eased close home when beaten opened 20/1 touched 20/1
NR Mikael D'haguenet (FR) 11-10 Not Specified W P Mullins 7

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £2.30
Straight Forecast: £4.54 Exacta: £4.40

Placepot: €32.10, Pool: €0.0

Verdict

VOLER LA VEDETTE's first Grade One win and a smashing performance, in admittedly a below-par race for the grade. With just four runners, the pace was always going to be a question mark, but to be fair to Final Approach, he took them along at a decent clip. The winner didn't jump that well early on in last but the field was bunched before the turn for home. At this point she was niggled along to keep tabs on her rivals, being taken (sensibly) to the outside by Andrew Lynch. Under firm pressure she hung in to her right slightly at the second-last but jumped it well and then moved into the lead before the last. She quickened nicely away and winged the final flight, coming home a comfortable three lengths clear of Mourad. Although the early pace was decent, the race did inevitably turn into a bit of a sprint and so the form isn't anything to get carried away with. A top level win had been the plan since she came back from the paddocks and it will be interesting to see her campaign this year. She's tried beating Quevega at Cheltenham before but may just struggle again off level weights, as it's worth remembering that she got 7lbs from the boys here. Mourad eventually took second, and connections will be pleased with this reappearance. He's not traditionally been at his best first time out, and this trip was short enough, but he travelled nicely into the race and only really lost out when the pace quickened before the last. He rallied well for second and connections will look for better ground next time, with ultimately a crack at Big Buck's in the World Hurdle (third last season) a fair target. The Real Article was over 2m 4f here and had stamina to prove. He moved into the race very smoothly but had no response to the winner. He looked a tad one-paced late on, so a drop back to two miles and a bigger field would be preferable next time. Final Approach made a perfectly adequate return to action. His handicap mark is high so he might not be the easiest to place this year, but he still held every chance turning in and wasn't given the hardest time once headed. He may also find this trip taxing enough, for the time being at least (he's only five) and he's not one to take lightly when next seen, espeically over two miles.