Ladbrokes.com Morgiana Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m

  • (4yo+, 2m, Class 1, 4 runners)
  • Winner €48,000 2nd €15,199 3rd €7,200 4th €2,400 5th €1,600 6th €800
  • Going: Soft, Soft/Heavy in places
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 3m 59.80s
  • Off time: 14:10:07

Full Result

14:10 Punchestown
Pos Dist Horse Trainer Age Weight Jockey SP
1st 3 Thousand Stars (FR) W P Mullins 7 11-10 R Walsh 5/4f
SP 5/4f Made all, ridden to assert approaching last, kept on strongly run-in, comfortably opened 11/8
2nd 1 Oscars Well (IRE) Mrs J Harrington 6 11-10 R M Power 2/1
SP 2/1 Chased leader in 2nd, ridden entering straight, no extra approaching last, kept on same pace
3rd 2 Pittoni (IRE) C Byrnes 5 11-10 D N Russell 9/4
SP 9/4 Chased leaders in 3rd, mistake 3rd, pushed along 2 out, ridden and no impression before last, kept on same pace
4th 86 4 Akatara (IRE) M J Bowe 4 11-0 T J Doyle 50/1
SP 50/1 Always behind, lost touch 4 out, completely tailed off

Betting Breakdown

Tote Win £1.80 Straight Forecast £4.30 Exacta £3.70

Placepot €17.70

Analysis

Given a good mention by Willie Mullins, the very well-backed THOUSAND STARS was given a positive ride and smashed his rivals from the front. He stays well (French Champion Hurdle winner over 3m 2f on his last start) so with a lack of pace in the race it was an obvious move and it paid off, with the grey jumping economically out in front. Walsh quickened the pace before the turn for home, getting both his rivals off the bridle, and a quick jump at the final hurdle sealed the win. He was cut for both the World Hurdle and Champion Hurdle, but the former is surely the more logical route given his profile. He ran well in the Champion last season but was outpaced where it mattered, so given he has plenty of stamina and class, he looks an obvious challenger to Big Bucks' crown. He was entitled to win this (he was 13lbs clear on official ratings) but the manner of victory will have delighted connections. Oscars Well emptied quickly on his reappearance so the way he battled on for second here was encouraging. He was amongst the top novices last season but it appears that this trip is not ideal at the top level. When returned to 2m 4f+ he looks sure to show even more, and it will be interesting to see how he is campaigned this season. Pittoni came into this race on the back of a good win and is very effective on deep ground. It's worth remembering that they raced on some fresh ground here, so the going was less testing than it could have been. He clattered the third hurdle which seemed to knock his stride a bit, and he was unable to get close enough to the leader having been slightly short of room off the final turn. A test of speed was what he needed to win this and he didn't get it.