• Racing/
  • Mikael Dhaguenet Back In Front

Follow Punchestown On Facebook Hurdle 2m 4f

  • (4yo+, 2m 4f, 4 runners)
  • Winner €13,000 2nd €3,800 3rd €1,800 4th €600
  • Going: Heavy
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 5m 14.70s
  • Off time: 13:35:34
  • Last Updated: January 30 2012, 15:23 GMT

Mikael d'Haguenet duly dispatched his three rivals as he took another step to rebuilding his career with a smooth success in the Follow Punchestown On Facebook Hurdle.

Mikael d'Haguenet: Comfortable victory
Mikael d'Haguenet: Comfortable victory

The three-times Grade One winner has not always delivered but had little trouble in justifying odds of 2-5 in this two-and-a-half-mile heat.

After tracking the pace-setting Western Leader for most of the race, he was asked to go about his business by Ruby Walsh after jumping the second-last flight.

Taking the lead on the turn for home, Willie Mullins' charge pulled away to score by seven and a half lengths from Western Leader, who made an encouraging reappearance after 631 days off the track.

Mullins said: "We'll probably have to go up in grade after that. It's unlikely we'll find another opportunity like that.

"It has been a chance to get his confidence back and hopefully he will keep improving . He got a bit lazy when he hit the front."

Western Leader's trainer John 'Shark' Hanlon was delighted with his horse's performance.

He said: "I'm thrilled with Western Leader. He really enjoyed himself and has come back with his ears pricked.

"I thought it was a great performance having been off the track for so long and the winner is a fair horse.

"I'd say he will improve a lot for that."