Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m

  • (5yo+, 2m, Class 1, 6 runners)
  • Winner €24,375 2nd €7,125 3rd €3,375 4th €1,125
  • Going: Soft to Heavy (Soft in places)
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 3m 56.40s
  • Off time: 14:23:02

Full Result

14:20 Punchestown
Pos Dist Horse Trainer Age Weight Jockey SP
1st 5 Vautour (FR) W P Mullins 5 11-0 P Townend 1/4f
SP 1/4f Chased leaders, 3rd halfway, improved to lead entering straight, ridden and challenged last, strongly pressed run-in and disputed briefly, asserted close home opened 3/10
2nd ¾ 6 Western Boy (IRE) P A Fahy 5 11-0 D N Russell 7/1
SP 7/1 Held up towards rear, progress into 4th at 5th, ridden into 2nd before last, challenged last, strongly pressed winner run-in and disputed briefly, no extra close home
3rd 11 4 Mr Fiftyone (IRE) Mrs J Harrington 5 11-0 R M Power 8/1
SP 8/1 Chased leader, 2nd halfway, slight mistake and ridden 2 out, no extra in 4th entering straight, kept on one pace to 3rd run-in
4th 3 2 Chicago (IRE) J P Shanahan 5 11-0 P F Mangan 11/1
SP 11/1 Led, ridden and headed entering straight, no extra in 3rd last, dropped to 4th run-in opened 10/1
5th 1 Captainofthefleet (IRE) E O'Connell 7 11-2 K M Donoghue 33/1
SP 33/1 Held up in rear, 5th and mistake 4 out, ridden next, no impression 2 out, kept on one pace opened 25/1
6th 51 3 Easter Hunt (IRE) M F Morris 5 11-0 t B J Cooper 25/1
SP 25/1 Chased leaders, 4th halfway, slight mistake in 5th and ridden briefly at 5th, ridden in rear next, no extra 3 out, weakened and completely tailed off

Betting Breakdown

Tote Win £1.20 Tote Place £1.02 £1.10 Straight Forecast £3.42 Exacta £3.20

Placepot €89.60

Analysis

VAUTOUR had been all the rage for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle in the week running up to this race but didn't produce the sort of demolition job that his supporters might have been hoping for with this hardfought success from Western Boy although the dream is still very much alive. This did turn into something of a sprint and he showed plenty of resolution to see off a determined challenge from the last to be well on top at the line. This was just his second start over hurdles in Ireland and his fourth in total (he had finished second to Black River in France on his second outing and that one hasn't done a great deal to advertise the form in two starts for Paul Nicholls although is well-regarded) so he's entitled to be improving still and his impressive maiden win did come on better ground. As it stands, his price for the two mile heat at Cheltenham reflects his reputation (and powerful yard) and potential rather than what he's achieved on the track but he obviously has the scope for further improvement. Western Boy travelled into the race every bit as well as the winner and went down fighting. He had run out a convincing winner of his maiden over Christmas having shown a decent level of form in bumpers and his performance should not be underestimated. He looks a smart recruit and connections have signalled their intention to head to England in March where he will deserve his place in the line-up assuming everything goes according to plan on his next start which could come in the Deloitte. Those two pulled clear of a useful yardstick in Mr Fiftyone who had been beaten a similar distance in the Grade One Royal Bond, albeit on very different ground, and he helps to provide a guide to the form.