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Leopardstown

  • 13:55 Istabraq Festival Hurdle 2m

  • (Grade 1) €85,000 added 4yo+ 7 ran
  • Winner €55,250 2nd €16,150 3rd €7,650 4th €2,550
  • Going: Soft
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 3m 54.40s
  • Off time: 13:55:00

Full result

13:55 Leopardstown Result 29th December 2011
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st Unaccompanied (IRE) 11-0 P Townend D K Weld 4 10/3
Held up towards rear, headway to go 3rd 2 out, challenged early straight and led before last, driven out and kept on well run-in opened 4/1 touched 4/1
2nd Thousand Stars (FR) 11-10 R Walsh W P Mullins 7 Evsf
Tracked leaders, 4th halfway, 2nd 2 out, ridden in 3rd approaching last where slight mistake, kept on under pressure run-in without reaching winner opened evs touched evs
3rd 2 Oscars Well (IRE) 11-10 R M Power Mrs J Harrington 6 7/1
Tracked leaders on inner, 3rd halfway, headway to lead before 3 out, strongly pressed early straight and headed approaching last, no extra and dropped to 3rd run-in opened 8/1 touched 8/1
4th 15 The Real Article (IRE) 11-10 B J Geraghty E J O'Grady 6 15/2
Tracked leaders, 5th halfway, mistake 3 out and no impression in 6th before next, moderate 4th at last, kept on one pace opened 7/1 touched 8/1
5th Moon Dice (IRE) 11-10 T J Doyle P W Flynn 6 8/1
Led, headed approaching 3 out, 5th and ridden 2 out, no extra approaching last opened 7/1 touched 8/1
6th Luska Lad (IRE) 11-10 Andrew J McNamara J J Hanlon 7 33/1
Tracked leader in 2nd, dropped to 4th before 2 out, ridden and no extra early straight opened 25/1 touched 33/1
7th Gimli's Rock (IRE) 11-10 T P Treacy Mrs J Harrington 5 66/1
Chased leaders, in rear after 2nd, no threat from 2 out opened 66/1 touched 66/1
NR Voler La Vedette (IRE) 11-3 A E Lynch C A Murphy 7 f

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £3.10 Tote Place: £1.50,1.40
Straight Forecast: £7.13 Exacta: £6.00

Placepot: €32.20, Pool: €0.0

Verdict

The Good, The Average and the Same Again. No doubts about who was the first, with UNACCOMPANIED putting in a career-best, albeit in receipt of 10lbs from the runner-up. She looked to get a little outpaced at the end of the back straight, but was soon back on the heels of the leading pair and looked in dominant mood when looming up on the outside of Thousand Stars, with Oscars Well still in front. She jumped to the front before the final flight and soon took a couple of lengths out of her rivals, before a decent jump at the last sealed the victory and she could almost be eased down close home. She's proven at Cheltenham, has the physical build to not be intimidated by the boys, and with doubts around Hurricane Fly, has certainly entered the Champion Hurdle picture in a major way. Thousand Stars ran a fair race, but didn't jump with as much alacrity as is often the case. He held every chance before the final turn but was made to look a little one-paced by the winner turning in, and then didn't pick up immediately when switched to the outer for a run. He had dictated his own terms when winning last time over this trip and in hindsight connections may have tried similar tactics here. He'll undoubtedly head to Cheltenham but it wouldn't be a huge shock to see him have a bash at Big Buck's, having been outpaced in last year's Champion Hurdle. Oscars Well hasn't lit the touchpaper yet this season but it's hard to crab his form, as even here he was well clear of the third and only lost to two class acts. He doesn't really appear a true two mile horse, but there is reason to believe that his quick jumping and the strong pace could see him outrun his odds at Cheltenham. Fourth, and well-held, was The Real Article. A mistake at the third from home halted any minor progress and he wasn't given a hard time from then on, but is shy of this level. Moon Dice helped set the early fractions but was well-left behind and he now has a little to prove outside of handicap company.