Rabobank Champion Hurdle 2013  

2012 result

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Hurricane Fly Unstoppable in Champion Hurdle

1 Hurricane Fly 1/4F
2 Thousand Stars 14/1
3 Rock On Ruby 9/2
NR: Mister Benedictine
6 ran Distances: 7l, 1l, 3l
TIME 4m 14.30s (slow by 28.30s)

Hurricane Fly produced another scintillating display in the hands of Ruby Walsh to claim the Rabobank Champion Hurdle at Punchestown for the fourth successive year.

Hurricane Fly
© Caroline Norris

Hurricane Fly

Lining up off the back of a successful bid to regain his crown in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, the nine-year-old was unsurprisingly a red-hot 1-4 favourite to confirm placings with runner-up Rock On Ruby.

Hurricane Fly's stable companion Thousand Stars played pacesetter and when Rock On Ruby went to the lead rounding the home turn, Walsh was sat motionless aboard the Willie Mullins-trained superstar. He quickly sealed the deal going to the final flight before passing the post a hugely impressive winner.

With Walsh saluting the crowd, Thousand Stars got back up to beat Rock On Ruby to give Mullins a one-two.

The jockey said: "He's an exceptional little horse. He has four of these won and four Irish Champion Hurdles at Leopardstown. I know he's only won twice at Cheltenham, but he's probably never shown his true colours in Cheltenham. They haven't seen him at his very best in England, for whatever reason, but he's an incredible horse.

"He's a pleasure to ride. Paul Townend rides him all the time and he was adamant all week that he was in unbelievable form. He told me he was absolutely flying and he was right. He just travelled so well, he put the race to bed in just three strides. He knows exactly what he's doing."

Hurricane Fly was securing his 16th victory in Grade One company and Mullins said: "Himself and Quevega did a piece of work which blew me away last weekend, but Champagne Fever worked very well as well and he ran disappointingly on Tuesday, so we were keepingzz our fingers crossed all week the work was as good as it looked.

"When Rock On Ruby made his move to join Thousand Stars it suited Ruby as he had something to bring him into the straight. When his (Rock On Ruby's) challenge fizzled out, Ruby just let our fellow rock and roll.

"He hasn't many miles on the clock so hopefully we can keep him fresh and he'll keep coming back. I'd love to have a crack at the French Champion Hurdle. I've no doubt he will stay. Dawn Run did the treble (Irish, English and French Champion Hurdle) and I've no doubt he could, but we'll probably put him away.

"Hopefully we get him back in the same form next autumn. You're always scared of younger horses coming through and you have to give them respect. They can improve a stone, whereas my fellow won't."



The Rabobank Champion Hurdle
2m , Race Value: €200,000
6 ran
Going: Heavy

Place Horse Trainer Jockey Odds
1. Hurricane Fly
b g Montjeu - Scandisk
9, 11-12
W.P. Mullins R. Walsh 1/4F
7 Lengths
7. Thousand Stars (FR)
gr g Grey Risk (FR) - Livaniana (FR)
9, 11-12
W.P. Mullins P. Townend 14/1
1 Length
5. Rock On Ruby
b g Oscar - Stony View (Blinkers. T/S)
8, 11-12
Harry Fry N.D. Fehily 9/2
3 Lengths
6. So Young (FR)
b g Lavirco (FR) - Honey (FR)
7, 11-12
W.P. Mullins D.J. Casey 28/1
5 1/2 Lengths
4. Rebel Fitz (FR)
b g Agent Bleu (FR) - Gesse Parade (FR)
8, 11-12
Michael Winters B.J. Geraghty 16/1
17 Lengths
2. Midnight Game (GB)
b g Montjeu - Midnight Angel (GER)
6, 11-12
W.P. Mullins D.N. Russell 50/1
3. Mister Benedictine (GB)
b g Mister Baileys (GB) - Cultural Role (GB)
(Cheek Piece. T/S)
10, 11-12
Brendan W.Duke  

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