Irish Champion Hurdle 2012  

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Hurricane Fly Cruises to Champion Hurdle Victory

1 Hurricane Fly 4/5F
2 Oscars Well 8/1
3 Thousand Stars 11/2
5 ran Distances: 6½l, 3½l, 29l
TIME 4m 5.10s (slow by 20.10s)

Hurricane Fly made a brilliant seasonal reappearance to land back-to-back victories in the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Hurricane Fly

Hurricane Fly

Willie Mullins' imperious performer cruised by his pacesetting stable companion Thousand Stars before the final flight under a confident ride from Ruby Walsh and went on to win as he liked.

The 4-5 favourite romped home by six and a half lengths from Oscars Well, who managed to grab second place, with Thousand Stars third in the testing conditions and the well-backed Unaccompanied never in the hunt in fourth.

Mullins said: "He completely surprised me. It must be as good a performance as he's ever produced.

"They went a right good gallop. Ruby said he wasn't travelling in the ground early on, but once he put him in the race three out he came alive. I was a bit anxious about the ground and he was very quiet beforehand, but maybe he's just maturing.

"Normally it takes two lads to lead him as he can be a bit tight. We had been worried before Cheltenham last year how he would handle everything, including the parade, but he went round like a handicapper today.

"I was a little concerned he would flop as my first two runners disappointed. I was surprised how fit he appeared. We'll keep a lid on him between now and Cheltenham."

It was Hurricane Fly's first run since he signed off last season with a victory at Punchestown in May to complete five Grade One successes on the bounce during an unbeaten campaign.

Hurricane Fly is evens (from 7-4) favourite with MansionBet for a repeat Champion Hurdle win, following his winning reappearance at Leopardstown this afternoon.

"It may have been a delayed reappearance for Hurricane Fly, but it was well worth waiting for, and having proved his wellbeing in emphatic fashion, he is now red-hot favourite for back-to-back Champion Hurdle wins," said Coral's David Stevens.


**Stan James Champion Hurdle
Evs (from 7-4) Hurricane Fly, 6-1 Grandouet, 8-1 Zarkandar, 10-1 Binocular, 14-1 Oscars Well, Rock On Ruby, Unaccompanied, 20-1 Oscar Whiskey, Thousand Stars, 25-1 Brampour, 33-1 Mikael D’Haguenet, Overturn, 40-1 Bar

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