• Racing/
  • Jetson Conquers Quevega

Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m

  • (4yo+, 3m, Class 1, 9 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
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 6m 0.50s
  • Off time: 17:32:01
  • Last Updated: May 1 2014, 21:08 BST

Jetson sprung a surprise in the Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival when beating the hot favourite Quevega.

  • Jetson races clear of Glens Melody
  • An Taoiseach Enda Kenny with winning connections jockey Davy Russell, owner Gerry McGrath and trainer Jessica Harrington 
  • Davy Russell celebrates with the World Series Hurdle cup 

Willie Mullins' star mare had won the last four renewals of this Grade One contest and hadn't been beaten since 2009 but had to settle for second behind the Jessica Harrington-trained outsider.

Although a consistent handicapper over staying trips, Jetson appeared to have his work cut out stepped up to Grade One level and was a 20-1 shot.

Knockara Beau and Reve De Sivola helped cut out much of the early running at a steady gallop and all of the field were in contention as the pace began to quicken ahead of the turn for home.

Davy Russell chose that moment to move up on the outside to join the leaders on the strong travelling nine-year-old as the principals jostled for position back in the pack with At Fishers Cross tracking every move of the 9/10 favourite.

Glens Melody, a stablemate of Quevega, loomed up menacingly on the outside but her challenge almost immediately faded as Quevega began to eat into Jetson's advantage under a strong drive from Ruby Walsh.

She was making hard work of it, however, and never really looked like getting there, finishing two and a quarter lengths adrift at the line with At Fishers Cross back in third.

Russell said: "Jessica had him in great order and I got a great spin off him. To be fair, Paddy Kennedy (jockey) said the last two days he's been in the form of his life. Kate Harrington told me he'd run a blinder, so they instilled plenty of confidence in me.

"We didn't think he'd be good enough to beat the mare, but we thought he'd run well. All credit to the team."

  • And they're off for day three of the Punchestown Festival
  • It's time to focus on the action
  • Macnicholson and Barry Geraghty were the pair to spoil the young man's day
  • Two racegoers study the form at Punchestown
  • Mallowney ridden by Davy Russell take the second in good style
  • Runners and riders clear Ruby's Double at Punchestown
  • Jack's Island ridden by Ger Fox (left) clears Ruby's Double
  • Ger Fox celebrates aboard Jack's Island
  • Jetson springs a huge surprise in the Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle when beating Quevega
  • Davy Russell and Jetson pose for photographers
  • While Ruby Walsh and Quevega make a lonely walk back
  • Punchestown processed using digital filters
  • Barry Geraghty riding God's Own at Punchestown
  • God's Own races to the finish at Punchestown
  • Morga ridden by Davy Russell
All the best images from the third day of the Punchestown Festival

Harrington said: "That was absolutely fantastic and a bit of a surprise. We ran him in this as there was no other race to run him in here. He'd have been at the top of all the handicaps.

"He comes to himself in the spring every year and he was in great form. I said to Davy that he stays well and he's tough, so he made use of him. He never missed a beat and he loves that ground.

"We did send him over fences for a while and he won a chase at Downpatrick, but he hated jumping fences. I thought he might run into a place as he's a fresh horse, even though he's been to Cheltenham and Aintree. He loves this time of year and he loves it round here. I didn't think in my wildest dreams he'd win, but he's run out of his skin.

"That was only Davy's second ride for me and his first winner. I think I better employ him a bit more now!"

A rueful Mullins commented: "Things didn't go great for Quevega in the race at all, but full marks to the winner."

Mullins added that the 10-year-old Quevega could have run her last race.

He said: "I thought she didn't get much luck in running and Davy rode a good race on the winner. He got a good run and it proved a winning run. I'll speak to the owners but I'd imagine this was her last race. She's a special mare and it would be hard to repeat what she's done.

"We'll always be trying to buy one like her but you can't replace her."