Irish Champion Hurdle Goes To Plan For Hurricane Fly Team

Paddy Power

Tagged under: 3.20 Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1)

The Willie Mullins trained Hurricane Fly once again showed that he is a force to be reckoned with come Cheltenham, after comfortably outpointing old rival Solwhit to win Leopardstown's BHP Irish Champion Hurdle.

Stable companion Thousand Stars ensured the five runner contest didn't turn into a tactical affair by setting a decent pace, with Paul Townsend's mount happy to track the grey, followed by main market rival Solwhit just behind in third.

Turning for home it became obvious that the finish was going to concern the ' big two ', and after jumping the last the 4/9 favourite only had to be pushed out to record another impressive display.

While most bookmakers now have the Montjeu gelding at a general 4/1, irish firm Paddy Power are out on a limb quoting odds of 5/1 about the horse landing the english equivalent in March.

Mullins was relieved to get today's race out of the way, saying: " I think he'll go straight to Cheltenham now. I haven't any other plans for him. I'm delighted to get that over.

" It's our first irish Champion Hurdle success so i'm going to enjoy it."

There is little doubt that Hurricane Fly is a very talented hurdler and could possibly follow in the footsteps of the great Istabraq, but with the exception of Solwhit, there is nothing capable of testing the seven-year-old on home soil.

Just how the horse fares against the likes of Binocular and Menorah come March makes for a mouth-watering spectacle.

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