Hurricane Fly charges to Champion Hurdle victory

PUNCHESTOWN FESTIVAL

Dates:
3-7 May
Coverage:
TV: At The Races Radio: Updates on BBC 5 live Results/reports: BBC Sport website
Feature race:
1730 BST
Ruby Walsh on Hurricane Fly
Hurricane Fly timed his charge to perfection

Hurricane Fly produced a superb late surge to romp to victory in the Rabobank Champion Hurdle at Punchestown, repeating his 2010 win.

Ruby Walsh's mount left Thousand Stars and early pace-setter Binocular trailing in his wake.

The race began in shambolic fashion with the horses reluctant to go off before Binocular took the initiative.

With six fences left Menorah went ahead but Walsh timed his charge perfectly and came home five lengths clear.

"He's a very, very good horse," said Walsh afterwards.

"He showed that at Cheltenham, and he's shown it here.

"It was a messy race, but Menorah and Binocular are high-class hurdlers. Who knows what next year will bring, but I wouldn't want to be getting off him. He's a cracking horse."

Trainer Willie Mullins described the horse's display as "just awesome - the best I've seen from him.

"This is his track on our home ground although I confess that I wasn't so confident halfway through the race.

"We knew it would be a messy race, but I thought it would suit him and Ruby said that he was always travelling.

"There are no big plans for him. I'll just concentrate on getting him home in one piece and I'd imagine our focus will be based around Cheltenham next season and then come on here.

"What we have done this year is enough, and I wouldn't mind repeating the dose."

Elsewhere, the stand-out races of the meeting at Chester were the Dee Stakes and Ormonde Stakes.

Favourite Glen's Diamond clinched a two-and-a-quarter length victory over Maqaraat in the first race, while the Ormonde went to St Nicholas' Abbey, who came home nine lengths clear of Allied Powers.

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