Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle
|Grade 1, Leopardstown 13:50
2m, Class 1
|Saturday 27th December 2014|
1 Sizing John 11/1
2 Sub Lieutenant 4/1
3 Golantilla 6/1
5 ran Distances: 6½l, ¾l
TIME 4m 8.00s (slow by 23.00s)
Sizing John makes all to win the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown
An eventful renewal of the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown went the way of Sizing John.
Willie Mullins saddled the odds-on favourite in Nichols Canyon, who was already a Grade One winner, but he was an early casualty as he unseated Ruby Walsh, and stablemate Mckinley was pulled up shortly afterwards when racing in second place.
Sizing John (11-1), highly regarded by Henry de Bromhead, made all under Johnny Burke and sprinted away from his two remaining rivals in the straight.
At one stage Golantilla looked a threat, but his run petered out, and Sub Lieutenant stayed on again to grab second, although they were only playing second fiddle.
The silver lining for Mullins was that his Douvan beat the winner easily when they met earlier in the season.
"There were a few incidents but it's great to win and a nice bonus. Our lad nearly ran out when the loose horse came by him. I'm delighted for Johnny as it's his first Grade One win," said the trainer.
"I was disappointed with him at Gowran, but they told me Douvan is very highly regarded. I always thought he wanted better ground and the plan was to back off him after this and look to the spring."
Teenager Burke said: "I've had two Grade Two winners, but that's my first Grade One.
"He did it well. I've always held him in high regard, ever since the first day I saw him. I remember riding against him in a bumper in Limerick one day and he always stuck in my mind since that day. He was very impressive in Naas and, to be fair, he bumped into a well above-average horse in Gowran (Douvan), and he's proved himself today at the highest level.
"I wasn't aware of what was going on behind but when I saw the loose horse come by me as we turned into the back straight, I knew that was Ruby's then, so that was our main danger gone.
"I was keen to make it a test in front and he's done it the hard way. He had to go out in front and make his own race of it - that's tough old going for a four-year-old, and on that ground, too.
"He will improve as he's only a four-year-old and he's big as well, so wait until he sees a fence."
The Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle
2m , Race Value: €80,000, Grade 1
|1st||Sizing John 11/1||J J Burke
|H De Bromhead||4|
|2nd||6½||Sub Lieutenant (IRE) 4/1||B J Cooper
|Ms S Hughes||5|
|3rd||¾||Golantilla (IRE) 6/1||A P Heskin
|A J Martin||6|
|PU||Mckinley 8/1||P Townend
|W P Mullins||4|
|UR||Nichols Canyon 4/6f||R Walsh
|W P Mullins||4|