Hurricane shows Champion class

  • Last Updated: January 4 2013, 8:48 GMT

BetVictor cut Hurricane Fly from 9/2 to 7/2 to regain his Champion Hurdle crown after a fluent win in the Istabraq Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Hurricane Fly: Classy display at Leopardstown
Hurricane Fly: Classy display at Leopardstown

Ruby Walsh's mount was one of three travelling well in the Grade 1 contest turning for home but he quickened clear as he beat Unaccompanied by a comfortable seven lengths.

Spokesperson Charlie McCann said: "The Fly may not have beaten a great deal and Darlan arguably achieved more in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton but the manner of his Leopardstown success suggests that Willie Mullins' star hurdler is back to his brilliant best."

Sky Bet have gone 7/2 from 5/1 and their compiler Michael Shinners added: "This was a visually an impressive performance as he showed his customary smart turn of foot to put the race to bed."

He shares favouritsim with Darlan with the latter firm but Nicky Henderson's big hope can be backed at a berst of 4/1 with Paddy Power and Betfred.

Rory Jiwani of Stan James said: "Hurricane Fly showed his well-being with a smooth success but he beat very little today and we're still keen to take on Willie Mullins' charge.

"We've trimmed him from 5/1 to 9/2 for the StanJames Champion Hurdle with Nicky Henderson's Darlan our 7/2 favourite after his impressive Christmas Hurdle success."

Ladbrokes make Hurricane Fly 7/2 from 5/1 with Darlan heading the market currently at 3/1.

Their spokesperson Hayley O'Connor reported: "Hurricane Fly was displaced as the market leader for the Champion Hurdle earlier this week but he's making ground on the favourite following a flawless Grade One victory."

Over at Newbury, BetVictor cut Taquin Du Seuil from 14 to 8/1 for the Neptune Investement Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham and make him the same price for the Albert Bartlett after his win in the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle.

Charlie McCann added: "The race may not have been the strongest Grade 1 in the calendar but the Jonjo O'Neill-trained five-year-old travelled like a class act.

"He was well on top in the end; we have cut him to 8/1 for both the Neptune and Albert Bartlett."

Tom George's Module won a good novice chase on the same card although Colour Squadron may well have won for Philip Hobbs and AP McCoy had his saddle not slipped.

Stan James make the winner a 25/1 shot for the Arkle and 20/1 for the Jewson with Colour Squadron 33/1 for the Arkle.