KPMG Champion Novice Hurdle
Grade 1, Punchestown 16:15
€125,000 guaranteed
5yo plus
2m 100y, Class 1   
Tuesday 30th April 2024


1 Mystical Power 2/1F
2 Firefox 9/2
3 Slade Steel 5/2
9 ran Distances: 1¾l, 4¼l, 5½l
Time: 4m 7.20s (slow by 14.20s)

In a rematch against Slade Steel, who had previously beaten Mystical Power at the Cheltenham Festival, the latter exacted revenge in this Grade One race.

Slade Steel had previously outperformed Mystical Power in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham. However, since then, Mystical Power had secured a Grade One victory at Aintree.

The betting odds were tight for the rematch on home soil, with Mystical Power being the narrow favorite at 2-1.

The extended two-mile contest was run at a strong gallop from the start, thanks to the Danny Mullins-ridden Ile Atlantique. As the race progressed down the back straight, both Ile Atlantique and nearest pursuer Tullyhill faded rapidly.

Slade Steel appeared to be traveling well as they rounded the final bend. However, under pressure, he disappointingly lacked the necessary response from jockey Rachael Blackmore.

Mystical Power, a son of Galileo and the great racemare Annie Power, surged from further back in the hands of jockey Mark Walsh. He powered home to win by a length and three-quarters.

Trainers Quotes

Firefox, who had finished third in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and was the runner-up to Mystical Power at Aintree, ran another fine race but had to settle for second place behind the victorious Mystical Power

“He showed resilience and toughness today, he’s been improving all season,” Mullins said of the winner.

“I didn’t think we had much chance at the second-last and Mark said he was going as fast as he could coming around the last bend.

“The race turned into a staying race, with the other two protagonists playing their cards going to the last, they were flat out and he just outstayed them with a good jump at the last.

“It’s fantastic that he’s progressed as the season has gone on and I think Annie Power is coming out in him.”

When asked if Mystical Power would have a Champion Hurdle campaign next season, he added: “There is a lot of thinking to do between now and then but you’d certainly have to look at that. I don’t think he’ll go novice chasing, as he looks more of a hurdler than a chaser.

“He could easily step up in trip watching that performance today. Mark said he found it tough with the amount of speed that was in the early part of the race.

“It looked a real staying race there today, which would mean that he’s a two-and-a-half-mile hurdler and they are the sort of horses you probably need to win a Champion Hurdle, so maybe it’s all pointing in that direction.”

Champion Novice Hurdle
€125,000 guaranteed, 5yo plus, 2m 100y, Class 1
9 ran

Going: Yielding, Good to Yielding in places

1     Mystical Power 5 11-12 W P Mullins Mark Walsh 2/1F
Firefox 6 11-12 Gordon Elliott Jack Kennedy 9/2
Slade Steel 6 11-12 Henry De Bromhead Rachael Blackmore 5/2
King Of Kingsfield 6 11-12 Gordon Elliott Jordan Gainford 28/1
5 5 Asian Master 7 11-12 W P Mullins Mr T Costello 12/1
Fascile Mode 6 11-12 Thomas Mullins Sean Flanagan 200/1
37 Ile Atlantique 6 11-12 W P Mullins Danny Mullins 10/1
PU Tullyhill 6 11-12 W P Mullins Paul Townend 7/1
PU Fun Fun Fun 6 11-5 W P Mullins Brian Hayes 33/1

Past Results:

Year Horse/SP Age/Wt Owner Trainer Jockey
2023 Facile Vega 4/6F 6-11-12
Hammer & Trowel Syndicate
Willie Mullins Paul Townend
2022 Mighty Potter 20/1 5-11-12
Caldwell Construction Ltd
Gordon Elliott Jack Kennedy
2021 Echoes In The Rain 8/13F 5-11-07
Barnane Stud
Willie Mullins Mr P W Mullins
2020 Abandoned
2019 Klassical Dream 8/13F 5-11-12
Mrs Joanne Coleman
Willie Mullins R Walsh
2018 Draconien 25/1 5-11-12
Clipper Logistics Group Ltd
Willie Mullins N D Fehily
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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