BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m

  • (4yo+, 2m, Class 1, 4 runners)
  • Winner €71,500 2nd €20,900 3rd €9,900 4th €3,300
  • Going: Soft to Heavy
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 3m 53.00s
  • Off time: 14:35:15

Full Result

14:35 Leopardstown
Pos Dist Horse Trainer Age Weight Jockey SP
1st 2 Hurricane Fly (IRE) W P Mullins 10 11-10 R Walsh 4/7f
SP 4/7f Chased leader in 2nd, closed from before 2 out, ridden to lead before last where marginally headed when slight mistake, led again and stayed on well run-in opened 8/15
2nd 4 Our Conor (IRE) D T Hughes 5 11-8 D E Mullins 5/1
SP 5/1 Raced in 3rd, closer order from before 2 out, travelling smoothly from before straight, gained slight lead last, headed and kept on without matching winner run-in opened 9/2
3rd 1 Captain Cee Bee (IRE) E P Harty 13 11-10 M P Walsh 50/1
SP 50/1 Led, reduced lead from before 2 out, headed before last where dropped to 3rd, kept on same pace run-in opened 66/1
4th ½ 3 Jezki (IRE) Mrs J Harrington 6 11-10 A P McCoy 3/1
SP 3/1 Held up in rear, took keen hold, took closer order approaching 2 out, ridden along on outer into straight, kept on same pace under pressure from before last opened 10/3

Betting Breakdown

Tote Win £1.50 Straight Forecast £3.84 Exacta £3.00

Jackpot €40.30
Placepot €43.30

Analysis

Another superb performance from HURRICANE FLY saw him put the young pretenders in their place for the second time this season although Our Conor made him work harder than he had in the Ryanair Hurdle. Ruby Walsh expected him to be suited by the sharper inside track and he duly took his Leopardstown record to a perfect eight from eight, finishing well on top at the line having had to pull out all the stops from the last. Our Conor had loomed up large and seemingly full of running under Danny Mullins but he couldn't go with the winner. Hurricane Fly will now head to Cheltenham to defend his Champion Hurdle crown and it's rather surprising that he isn't the outright favourite for the race following his performances this season. Some feel, Ruby Walsh included, that he has never shown his best form at Cheltenham despite winning two Champions and that has no doubt contributed to his price but with Willie Mullins confident that he is a stronger horse this year it would be foolish to believe that he is incapable of doing so. Our Conor improved from his run in the Ryanair as had been expected and would be entitled to improve again from this outing. He took a step forwards with every start last season, culminating with his hugely impressive Triumph Hurdle victory and connections will be more than hopeful of giving Hurricane Fly more to think about given that the course so clearly suits and this defeat did nothing to diminish his claims. The same cannot be said of Jezki although he did ruin his chance by pulling for his head which gave him little chance of getting the better of two very smart rivals. It was still disappointing that he couldn't get past the front-running Captain Cee Bee, however, and, although he's capable of better than this, the evidence is mounting up that he is a fraction shy of the best in this division.