Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle
Grade 1, Leopardstown 13:50
€85,000 added,
4yo plus,
3m, Class 1  
Wednesday 28th December 2016

1 Vroum Vroum Mag 8/15F
2 Clondaw Warrior 8/1
3 Snow Falcon 5/1
8 ran Distances: 1¼l, 2½l, 3½l
TIME 6m 6.90s (slow by 27.90s)

Vroum Vroum Mag in top gear in Christmas Hurdle

Ruby Walsh was always close to the pace set by Patrick Mullins and Shaneshill, and Vroum Vroum Mag was going supremely well when they rounded the home turn into the straight.

Vroum Vroum Mag
© Caroline Norris
Vroum Vroum Mag

Shaneshill crashed out at the last leaving Vroum Vroum Mag in front and, though she idled on the run-in, she had plenty in hand of stablemate Clondaw Warrior, ridden by Walsh's sister Katie.

Snow Falcon finished third.

Shaneshill was given an easy time of things at the head of affairs but the challengers mounted up coming out of the back straight.

Nicky Henderson's French recruit Kotkikova moved ominously into contention before weakening, while Snow Falcon was another to make ground from the rear.

However, none moved with as much menace as Vroum Vroum Mag, with Walsh happy once the race developed into something of a sprint.

She jumped to the head of affairs looking as if she would win easily, but the 8-15 favourite was made to work hard as Clondaw Warrior (8-1) showed he was not out of his depth in Grade One company.

Snow Falcon got going all too late in third for Noel Meade.

Owner Rich Ricci said: "She's great. The last day (runner-up in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle) was tough but all credit to Apple's Jade, who is a tough mare.

"We always thought this mare was special so while Vroum Vroum Mag was beaten fair and square, I knew she'd come on for the run.

"She idled a bit after the last and was quite keen early. I was worried about the trip but she got it.

"She's special and Willie is a genius, we're very lucky to have these horses.

"If we'd had an uninterrupted run with Faugheen and Annie Power she'd probably have been back over fences this year, so she could go back over fences when the two big ones come back.

"Next year she could be a Gold Cup mare. We've always thought she was a staying mare - she can do anything.

"She'll be entered in everything in March, she could even be a Ryanair Chase horse once the other two (Faugheen and Annie Power) come back.

"She's an incredibly versatile mare."

Free Racing Tips

The Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle
3m , Race Value: €85,000, Grade 1
8 ran
Going: Yielding

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Vroum Vroum Mag (FR) 8/15f R Walsh
11-3
W P Mullins 7
2nd Clondaw Warrior (IRE) 8/1 Ms K Walsh
11-10
W P Mullins 9
3rd Snow Falcon (IRE) 5/1 S W Flanagan
11-10
N Meade 6
4th Whiteout (GER) 66/1 D E Mullins
11-3
W P Mullins 5
5th Kotkikova (FR) 7/1 B J Geraghty
11-3
N J Henderson 5
6th nk De Plotting Shed (IRE) 14/1 J W Kennedy
11-10
G Elliott 6
7th 81 Milsean (IRE) 50/1 B J Cooper
11-10
M F Morris 7
F Shaneshill (IRE) 10/1 Mr P W Mullins
11-10
W P Mullins 7