Racing Post Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m
- (4yo+, 2m, Class 1, 3 runners)
- Winner €120,000 2nd €38,000 3rd €18,000 4th €6,000 5th €4,000 6th €2,000
- Going: Good to Yielding
- Surface: Turf
- Winning time: 4m 6.80s
- Off time: 17:30:38
Hurricane Fly (IRE) 52
|10||166 11-12||W P Mullins||R Walsh||169||Evs|
Jezki (IRE) 52
|6||166 11-12 h||Mrs J Harrington||A P McCoy||169||4/5f|
Steps To Freedom (IRE) 12
|8||166 11-12 t||Mrs J Harrington||R M Power||139||20/1|
Hurricane Fly (IRE)
||9||11-12||W P Mullins||R Walsh||1/4|
It's unfortunate that only two rivals line-up in an attempt to prevent HURRICANE FLY recording a fifth straight victory in this Grade 1, though one of them is Cheltenham Champion Hurdle winner Jezki. Willie Mullins' star hurdler only finished fourth at Cheltenham, beaten five lengths, but had beaten Jessica Harrington's six-year-old in the Ryanair Hurdle and the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown earlier and is fancied to come out on top today with recent rain having got into the ground. Steps To Freedom is no mug but hasn't won over hurdles since 2011 and is probably in this to ensure a decent gallop.
Jezki (IRE) 9-1 (11-10) Held up in touch, took keen hold, left close 3rd at the 3rd, not fluent 5th, led 2 out, went slightly left just before last, driven 1 length clear flat, held on, won at Cheltenham 2m hdl G1 (1) gs in Mar beating My Tent Or Yours (11-10) by nk, 9 ran.
Hurricane Fly (IRE) 11-4fav (11-10) Tracked leaders, hit 1st, left close 2nd 3rd, every chance 2 out, ridden in 3rd and unable to quicken before last, soon hung left, no extra when lost 3rd towards finish, 4th of 9, 5l behind Jezki (11-10) at Cheltenham 2m hdl G1 (1) gs in Mar.
Steps To Freedom (IRE) 14-1 (11-10) Held up towards rear, ridden and no impression when hampered 2 out, 11th of 17, 35l behind Daneking (10-12) at Fairyhouse 2m hcp hdl in Apr.