Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle
Grade 1, Leopardstown 13:50
€100,000 added, 4yo plus,
2m, Class 1  
Thursday 27th December 2018

1 Aramon 6/1
2 Sancta Simona 5/2
3 Tintangle 16/1
6 ran Distances: 10l, 3l, 6½l
Time: 3m 54.80s (slow by 9.80s)

Ruby Walsh wins the Grade 1 aboard the Willie Mullins-trained Aramon

© Caroline Norris

Mullins had saddled four previous winners of the Grade One contest – including each of the last three – and this year had readied a twin assault.

Having finished third behind stablemate Quick Grabim in the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse on his latest outing, Aramon was a 6-1 chance in the hands of Ruby Walsh, with stablemate Sancta Simona a better-fancied 5-2 chance under Barry Geraghty.

Walsh settled Aramon at the rear of the six-strong field for much of the two-mile journey, but was travelling powerfully in behind the leaders rounding the home turn.

Once the gap came, the five-year-old joined Sancta Simona for the lead at the final flight and fairly shot clear on the run-in, coming home with 10 lengths in hand. Tintangle was three lengths further back in third.

Mullins said: “It was a pleasant surprise that he did it in that manner. When Sancta Simona took the lead turning for home, I thought the race was over.

“I could see Ruby coming through, but I didn’t think he had that much in the tank. It was unbelievable what he pulled out.

“He obviously likes this ground, it’s nice and lively out there.

“Supreme Horse Racing look like they’ve found a real good horse, which is good for them. There’s a good crew of them here.

“He has to go down the Grade One route now. That looks like his trip, on that ground, and it’s nice to win a Grade One race for Supreme Racing here.”

Free Racing Tips

Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle
2m , Race Value: €100,000, Grade 1
6 ran
Going: Good to Yielding

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Aramon (GER) 6/1 R Walsh
W P Mullins 5
2nd 10 Sancta Simona (FR) 5/2 B J Geraghty
W P Mullins 5
3rd 3 Tintangle (IRE) 16/1 J W Kennedy
G Elliott 5
4th Triplicate (IRE) 9/4f M P Walsh
Joseph P O'Brien 5
5th Daly Tiger (FR) 7/2 S W Flanagan
N Meade 5
6th 20 Due Reward (IRE) 8/1 Rachael Blackmore
H De Bromhead 5