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Leopardstown

  • 14:30 BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle 2m

  • (Grade 1) €110,000 added 4yo+ 5 ran
  • Winner €71,500 2nd €20,900 3rd €9,900 4th €3,300
  • Going: Soft
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 4m 5.10s
  • Off time: 14:30:03

Full result

14:30 Leopardstown Result 29th January 2012
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st Hurricane Fly (IRE) 11-10 R Walsh W P Mullins 8 4/5f
Tracked leaders in 3rd, smooth headway to challenge after 2 out, led early straight and soon asserted, stretched clear run-in, easily opened 8/11 touched 4/5
2nd Oscars Well (IRE) 11-10 R M Power Mrs J Harrington 7 8/1
Tracked leader in 2nd, 3rd entering straight, ridden to go 2nd before last but no chance with easy winner last, kept on same pace opened 8/1 touched 8/1
3rd Thousand Stars (FR) 11-10 P Townend W P Mullins 8 11/2
Led, mistake 3 out, strongly pressed after next and headed early straight, dropped to 3rd and no extra from before last opened 5/1 touched 11/2
4th 29 Unaccompanied (IRE) 11-1 D N Russell D K Weld 5 11/4
Held up in 4th, in touch approaching 2 out, no extra entering straight and soon weakened opened 7/2 touched 7/2
5th 18 Kalann (IRE) 11-8 M Darcy Miss S J Harty 5 100/1
Always rear, ridden and no extra 2 out, weakened opened 100/1 touched 100/1

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £1.80 Tote Place: £1.10,1.80
Straight Forecast: £7.79 Exacta: £8.60

Placepot: €30.80, Pool: €0.0

Verdict

A visually impressive performance from HURRICANE FLY although there will be some dispute over the form merely because of the woeful ground conditions. The pace in the race was set by Thousand Stars which will have suited the winner, but the way which the Fly glided over the ground was a great example of what sets him apart from the current crop of two mile hurdlers. He was firmly on the bridle when approaching the leader turning in, and although Oscars well tried to chase him, the only question mark was over how far he would win by. He looks set to go straight to Cheltenham to defend his English crown and with the better ground in his favour, it's no surprise that he is as short as 4-6 to do so successfully. With no Peddlers Cross around and the likes of Grandouet and Zarkandar still having something to prove, it's hard to see him losing if getting there in one piece. Oscars Well has not been in sparkling form this season but ran well here, benefiting from getting a good tow from Thousand Stars. He jumped fluently and accurately but just lacked the turn of foot of the winner turning in. To his credit he stayed on well, on ground unlikely to have suited, and enhanced his chance of a Cheltenham place. Thousand Stars was given a more forceful ride than when beaten by Unaccompanied here last month but a mistake at the third-last halted his momentum a little. He tried to battle on but it was no surprise that his effort became one-paced close home. Although the ground may have exaggerated the result, this run would appear to vindicate riding the horse positively over this trip. Unaccompanied was held up but seemed to be found out when the pace quickened down the far side. She was left with plenty of ground to make up on the leaders but couldn't get anywhere near them (a mistake two out didn't help) and seemed to be labouring from a fair way out. She's won on testing ground before but it should be remembered that she is more of a speed horse and conditions were against her here. However it was a very disappointing run and she will need to bounce back next time, where it wouldn't be a surprise to see Paul Townend back on board as he knows her very well.