Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle
|Grade 1, Leopardstown 13:50
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.
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.
"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.
"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."
The Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle
3m , Race Value: €85,000, Grade 1
|Pos||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||Vroum Vroum Mag (FR) 8/15f||R Walsh
|W P Mullins||7|
|2nd||1¼||Clondaw Warrior (IRE) 8/1||Ms K Walsh
|W P Mullins||9|
|3rd||2½||Snow Falcon (IRE) 5/1||S W Flanagan
|4th||3½||Whiteout (GER) 66/1||D E Mullins
|W P Mullins||5|
|5th||2¼||Kotkikova (FR) 7/1||B J Geraghty
|N J Henderson||5|
|6th||nk||De Plotting Shed (IRE) 14/1||J W Kennedy
|7th||81||Milsean (IRE) 50/1||B J Cooper
|M F Morris||7|
|F||Shaneshill (IRE) 10/1||Mr P W Mullins
|W P Mullins||7|