BETDAQ Punchestown Champion Hurdle
Grade 1, Punchestown 17:30
€200,000 added,
4yo plus,
2m, Class 1  
Friday 29th April 2016

1 Vroum Vroum Mag 4/6F
2 Identity Thief 11/2
3 My Tent Or Yours 11/4
6 ran Distances: 1¼l, 3½l, 3¾l
TIME 4m 1.60s (slow by 16.60s)

Ruby leaves the punters smiling as the heavily-backed Vroum Vroum Mag holds off Identity Thief

Vroum Vroum Mag
© Caroline Norris
Vroum Vroum Mag

Vroum Vroum Mag stepped in for her absent stablemate Annie Power in style to take the Grade 1 event by a cosy length and a quarter from Identity Thief with My Tent Or Yours a further three and half lengths back in third.

“She has such a lovely temperament,” said trainer Willie Mullins. “I hadn’t realized how much speed she had until I worked her before Cheltenham. We were gobsmacked that day. We thought we might have supplemented the wrong one for (the Champion Hurdle) at Cheltenham after that. We could go any route with her next year.

She’d be quick enough to run in the Champion Hurdle or she could go over fences. She’s so relaxed that she will stay as well. We’ve just climbed, climbed and climbed up the ladder with her.

“We’d intended to run her over three miles yesterday but when Annie Power wasn’t quite right we let her take her chance. We had her entered in everything and it was just the way things fell that she ran here.”

Ruby Walsh added: “It just shows the strength in depth that we are lucky enough to have. To think you start the year with Nichols Canyon, Arctic Fire, Faugheen, Annie Power and then end up winning the Grade One Champion Hurdle with Vroum Vroum Mag.

“She has always worked with incredible pace and speed, yet to look at her you think she wants a trip. Looks can be deceiving because she has oodles of speed. I know after the last bit of work before the Champion Hurdle we were thinking ‘Jesus, have we put the right mare in’! I always had faith in her.

“She was winning at up to two mile seven (furlongs) because of her class. I’m not certain that she was really staying. The couple of times we had run her over two miles had been her most impressive wins. She is a diamond, isn’t she?

“Even halfway around the bend she pricked her two ears and I thought ‘you have loads left’ and I didn’t even need to throw her at the last. This is the first time we’ve found out how good she is.

“I love winning here. I’m from four miles down the road and have been coming since getting days off school. I love this place – I always have done”

Owner Rich Ricci added: “To think we can win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham with Annie Power and to be able to come here with a super, super-sub like that is just great. I’m just lucky to have these great mares and next season we will have some good choices to make.”

BETDAQ Punchestown Champion Hurdle (Grade 1)
€200,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m, Class 1
6 ran
Going: Yielding

Pos Dist Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Vroum Vroum Mag (FR) 4/6f R Walsh
11-5
W P Mullins 7
2nd Identity Thief (IRE) 11/2 B J Cooper
11-12
H de Bromhead 6
3rd My Tent Or Yours (IRE) 11/4 B J Geraghty
11-12
N J Henderson 9
4th Fethard Player (IRE) 25/1 D J Mullins
11-12
W F Treacy 9
5th ¾ Sempre Medici (FR) 10/1 P Townend
11-12
W P Mullins 6
6th 21 Ted Veale (IRE) 50/1 D F O'Regan
11-12
A J Martin 9

PAST RESULTS
Year Horse Age/Wt Owner Trainer Jockey SP
2015 Faugheen 7-11-12 Susannah Ricci Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 1/6 Fav
2014 Jezki 6-11-12 J P McManus Jessica Harrington A P McCoy 4/5 Fav
2013 Hurricane Fly 9-11-12 George Creighton & Rose Boyd Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 1/4 Fav
2012 Hurricane Fly 8-11-12 George Creighton & Rose Boyd Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 4/11 Fav
2011 Hurricane Fly 7-11-12 George Creighton & Rose Boyd Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 1/2 Fav
2010 Hurricane Fly 6-11-12 George Creighton & Rose Boyd Willie Mullins Paul Townend 3/1
2009 Solwhit 5-11-12 Top Of The Hill Syndicate Charles Byrnes Davy Russell 2/1 Jt Fav
2008 Punjabi 5-11-12 Raymond Tooth Nicky Henderson GB Barry Geraghty 2/1
2007 Silent Oscar 8-11-12 Patrick Convery Harry Rogers Robbie Power 20/1
2006 Macs Joy 7-11-12 Mac’s J Racing Jessica Harrington Barry Geraghty 11/4
2005 Brave Inca 7-11-12 Novices Syndicate Colm Murphy A P McCoy 2/1
2004 Hardy Eustace 7-11-12 Lar Byrne Dessie Hughes Conor O’Dwyer 3/1
2003 Quazar 5-11-13 David Carr Jonjo O’Neill GB Tony Dobbin 7/2
2002 Davenport Milenium 6-11-12 Mrs Noel O’Callaghan Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 11/2
*2001 Moscow Flyer 7-12-00 Brian Kearney Jessica Harrington Barry Geraghty 6/1
2000 Grimes 7-11-09 J P McManus Christy Roche Charlie Swan 6/1
1999 Istabraq 7-12-00 J P McManus Aidan O’Brien Charlie Swan 1/4 Fav
1998-96 No race
1995 Fortune And Fame 8-11-08 Michael Smurfit Dermot Weld Richard Dunwoody 4/7 Fav
1994 Fortune And Fame 7-11-08 Michael Smurfit Dermot Weld Brendan Sheridan 4/9 Fav
1993 Camden Buzz 5-11-05 Carmel Byrne Paddy Mullins Charlie Swan Evs Fav
* Run at Leopardstown

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