Statuaire jumps the last in the Royal Bond
Trainer Willie Mullins - another Grade One prize

Royal Bond Novices' Hurdle report: Statuaire swoops late

Statuaire ran down My Mate Mozzie in the dying strides to win the Grade One BARONERACING.COM Royal Bond Novice Hurdle.

In a slowly-run race it looked like the runner-up was about to justify favouritsm before he clipped the top of the final flight.

That cost him momentum and gave the 12/1 winner the chance to launch her bid, the strong run taking her to the front in the shadows of the post for a short-head success.

The winner is 20/1 with the sponsors for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham and 7/1 from 16s for the mares' novices at the meeting.

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Winning trainer Willie Mullins said: “I had her in the handicap but I felt if she was ever going to win a Grade One, this was her chance. She can run in handicaps for the rest of her life.

“I felt the experience she had in France, the way she jumped – we hadn’t asked many questions and she’d won two out of two. She’d had a break and she got very strong during that, she filled out and got strong.

“A lot of things fell her way, they got racing early and got involved too far out, which gave Danny a chance to drop her out and have one run with her. He timed it to perfection.

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“I suppose it bodes well for the rest of the novices, but she hasn’t done anything wrong and is three out of three. She’s improving and will probably go on to the Grade One at Leopardstown at Christmas now.

“You’d have to say the Mares’ Novices’ at Cheltenham would be the obvious target, but if she keeps improving she might go down the other route.”

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