paddypower.com iPhone App December Festival Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m

  • (4yo+, 2m, Class 1, 5 runners)
  • Winner €58,500 2nd €17,100 3rd €8,100 4th €2,700
  • Going: Heavy
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 4m 10.80s
  • Off time: 13:55:30

Full Result

13:55 Leopardstown
Pos Dist Horse Trainer Age Weight Jockey SP
1st 1 Hurricane Fly (IRE) W P Mullins 6 11-10 P Townend 8/11f
SP 8/11f Tracked leader in 2nd, close up travelling well from 2 out, led on bridle last, drew clear, not extended, impressive
2nd 3 Solwhit (FR) C Byrnes 6 11-10 D N Russell 6/4
SP 6/4 Tracked leaders in 3rd, slight mistake at 3rd, close up travelling well from 2 out, effort on inner when not fluent last, switched and kept on under pressure run-in, no chance with winner opened 7/4
3rd s.h 2 Luska Lad (IRE) J J Hanlon 6 11-10 Andrew J McNamara 20/1
SP 20/1 Led, ridden and strongly pressed from 2 out, headed last, kept on same pace under pressure
4th 4 Thousand Stars (FR) W P Mullins 6 11-10 Ms K Walsh 16/1
SP 16/1 Held up in touch, 4th and ridden after 2 out, kept on without threatening from last opened 14/1
5th 10 5 Won In The Dark (IRE) Miss S J Harty 6 11-10 P Carberry 40/1
SP 40/1 Slowly into stride and held up, pulled hard halfway, 4th approaching 2 out, soon no extra and weakened

Betting Breakdown

Tote Win £1.80 Tote Place £1.02 £1.40 Straight Forecast £2.21 Exacta £2.40

Placepot €16.60

Analysis

HURRICANE FLY confirmed in no uncertain terms that he has the Indian sign over Solwhit with his most authoritative victory over his old rival to date. There appeared to be a deliberate change of tactics from Charles Byrnes' team who had expressed their doubts that they could beat Hurricane Fly having felt that the Hattons Grace Hurdle (the pair's last meeting) had represented their best chance. The field raced in Indian file with Solwhit racing in third, tracking the favourite, and Davy Russell delayed his challenge until as late as possible. The plan backfired a little as Solwhit was short of room on the inside of Luska Lad at the last but it made no difference to the result as Hurricane Fly had blown away the field in a matter of strides. Solwhit ran on gamely to take a deserved second and is better than the bare result suggests but a clear second best to the winner. Hurricane Fly was promoted to favouritism for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham following what was, arguably, the most impressive performance of his career to date but he has missed the last two Festivals due to injuries. However, this is the first season that Willie Mullins has had a clear run with him and that has enabled Hurricane Fly to produce the level of form that he looked capable of delivering during his novice season and the best may not have been seen of him after ten starts over hurdles. Luska Lad bounced back to form having scoped badly after a disappointing run at Down Royal; he may need to drop down in Grade to regain the winning thread whilst it would be no surprise to see connections have another crack at a longer trip. County Hurdle winner Thousand Stars was hammered by the handicapper for finishing third in the Rabobank Champion Hurdle in April and could be hard to place in the short-term but this was a sufficiently respectable first run of the season. Won In The Dark isn't the force that he once was and he did his cause no favours when pulling hard for his hard for much of the first mile and had no more to offer in the closing stages.