Herald Champion Novice Hurdle
Grade 1, Punchestown 16:20
Race Value: €100,000
5yo plus
2m, Class 1   
Tuesday 24th April 2018

Free Racing Tips

1 Draconien 25/1
2 Vision Des Flos 11/1
3 Mengli Khan 11/2
10 ran Distances: 2¼l, 7l, 4l
Time: 4m 3.70s (slow by 14.70s)

First blood to Willie Mullins as Draconien wins



Draconien got Willie Mullins off to a flying start at this year’s Punchestown Festival after springing a surprise under a confident Noel Fehily.

The reigning champion trainer has significant ground to make up on rival Gordon Elliott in this year’s title race, but reduced the deficit in the first Grade One contest of the week.

Mullins fielded four of the 10 runners and it was his 11-10 favourite Getabird who cut out much of the running in the hands Paul Townend.

However, he was a spent force from the home turn and was first claimed by Colin Tizzard’s British challenger Vision Des Flos, before 25-1 shot Draconien came through to claim victory by two and a quarter lengths.

Vision Des Flos was a clear second, with Elliott’s Mengli Khan best of the rest in third.

Mullins said: “It looked like there was too much pace up the front for Getabird and everyone took him on up. They’ve all paid the penalty and Draconien came through.

“Noel got off him in Fairyhouse and said he wanted to ride him differently and on better ground and that’s exactly what happened today.

“There was so much pace today, there was no pace in Fairyhouse, and that played into his hands and he jumped fantastic as well.”

He added: “He’s a good horse, we thought he was in the beginning and then he lost his way a bit. He’s back to himself again.

“He’ll probably go to grass now or we might actually bring him back to Paris for something like the Prix La Barka.

“We’ll see as he’s not a horse that’s going to take a lot of racing but he has very little racing this year. He could do that or go out for the summer.”

The Herald Champion Novice Hurdle
€100,000 added, 5yo plus, 2m, Class 1
10 ran
Going: Yielding to Soft

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Draconien (FR) 25/1 N D Fehily
W P Mullins 5
2nd Vision Des Flos (FR) 11/1 R M Power
C L Tizzard 5
3rd 7 Mengli Khan (IRE) 11/2 J W Kennedy
G Elliott 5
4th 4 Whiskey Sour (IRE) 10/1 D J Mullins
W P Mullins 5
5th 2 Cartwright 33/1 M P Walsh
G Elliott 5
6th Sharjah (FR) 11/1 Mr P W Mullins
W P Mullins 5
7th Getabird (IRE) 11/10f P Townend
W P Mullins 6
8th Hardline (IRE) 25/1 S W Flanagan
G Elliott 6
9th 24 Beyond The Law (IRE) 66/1 B J Cooper
M F Morris 6
10th 8 Paloma Blue (IRE) 11/2 D N Russell
H de Bromhead 6

Past Results:

Year Horse/SP Age/Wt Owner Trainer Jockey
2017 Cilaos Emery 8/1 5-11-12
Luke McMahon
Willie Mullins David Mullins
2016 Don't Touch It 16/1 6-11-12
J P McManus
Mrs J Harrington B J Geraghty
2015 Douvan 1/6F 5-11-12
Susannah Ricci
Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2014 Faugheen 1/2F 6-11-12
Susannah Ricci
Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2013 Jezki 2/1 5-11-12
J P McManus
Jessica Harrington Barry Geraghty
2012 Alderwood 5/2 8-11-12
J P McManus
Tom Mullins A P McCoy
2011 Shot From The Hip 11/2 7-11-12
J P McManus
Edward O’Grady A P McCoy
2010 Blackstair
Susannah Ricci
Willie Mullins Paul Townend
2009 Hurricane Fly 4/6 Fav 5-11-12
George Creight
on/Rose Boyd Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2008 Jered 7/4 Fav 6-11-12
J P McManus
Noel Meade A P McCoy
2007 Clopf 7/4 Fav 6-11-12
Bernard Heffernan
Edward O’Grady Barry Geraghty
2006 Iktitaf 8/1 5-11-11
Mrs Pat Sloan
Noel Meade Ruby Walsh
2005 Wild Passion 7/4 Fav 5-11-11
Des Sharkey
Noel Meade Paul Carberry
2004 Brave Inca 2/1 Fav 6-11-12
Novices Syndicate
Colm Murphy Barry Cash
2003 Back In Front 4/11 Fav 6-11-12
Dermot Cox
Edward O’Grady Norman Williamson
2002 Scottish Memories 11/4 6-11-12
Mary Halligan
Noel Meade Paul Carberry
*2001 Ned Kelly 4/5 Fav 5-11-11
Sue Magnier
Edward O’Grady Norman Williamson
2000 Moscow Flyer 10/1 6-12-00 Brian Kearney Jessica Harrington Barry Geraghty
1999 Cardinal Hill 1/2 Fav 5-11-13
J P McManus
Noel Meade Charlie Swan
1998 His Song 6/4 5-11-13
David Lloyd
Mouse Morris A P McCoy
1997 Midnight Legend 7/4 Fav 6-12-00
Hilda Clarke
David Nicholson GB Richard Johnson
1996 Dance Beat 7/2 5-11-08
Mrs E Queally
Jessica Harrington John Shortt
1995 Hotel Minella 5/4 Fav 8-12-00
John J Nallen
Aidan O’Brien Charlie Swan
1994 Klairon Davis 7/4 Fav 5-11-13
Chris Jones
Arthur Moore Tom Horgan
1993 Bayrouge 7/2 5-11-08
Joe Crowley
Anne-Marie O’Brien Richard Dunwoody
1992 Fortune And Fame 11/4 Fav 5-11-13
Michael Smurfit
Dermot Weld Brendan Sheridan
1991 Young Pokey 5/2 6-12-00
Maurice Oberstein
Oliver Sherwood GB Jamie Osborne
1990 Vestris Abu 5/2 4-10-05
Mrs C Shubotham
Jim Bolger Charlie Swan
1989 The Proclamation 9/2 6-10-13
J M Whaley
Paddy Prendergast Richard Dunwoody
1988 El-Sid Senor 9/4 Fav 5-11-07
T Miley
Francis Flood Frank Berry
1987 High Plains 8/1 5-11-05
Raymond Mould
David Nicholson GB Richard Dunwoody
1986 Barney Burnett Evs Fav 6-11-09
P Donovan
Ruby Walsh Brendan Sheridan
1985 Hungary Hur 5/1 6-11-06
Mrs A Fegan
Paddy Mullins Tony Mullins
1984 Gav’s Delight 2/5 Fav 6-11-07
N McGrady
Michael Cunningham Ken Morgan
1983 Dawn Run 5/2 Fav 5-11-07
Mrs Charmian Hill
Paddy Mullins Tony Mullins
1982 Bustineto 5/2 4-10-05
Timothy Kinsella
Mick O’Toole Niall Madden
1981 Tie Anchor 2/1 Fav 4-10-09
Daniel Hale
Paddy Prendergast Tommy McGivern
1980 Deep Gale 7/1 7-11-08
J P McManus
Edward O’Grady Mr Frank Codd

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