Hurricane Fly: Morgiana Hurdle win is 20th Grade One victory

Hurricane Fly, ridden by Ruby Walsh
Hurricane Fly also won the Morgiana Hurdle in 2012 and 2013

Hurricane Fly extended his record tally of Grade One wins to 20 after claiming a third successive victory in the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown.

The 10-year-old won by two-and-a-quarter lengths from rival Jezki, who beat him at Cheltenham and Punchestown earlier this year.

Trainer Willie Mullins said: "The way the race was run worked out well for us. The onus was on Jezki today."

He also praised jockey Ruby Walsh for a "tactically very good" ride.

Walsh added: "He's a wonderful horse. While form can be temporary, class is permanent."

Hurricane Fly is now four ahead of the previous record of Grade One wins, jointly held by Kauto Star and John Henry.

Meanwhile. the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham, traditionally seen as a pointer for the Champion Hurdle in March, was won by Garde La Victoire, ridden by Richard Johnson.

Favourite Vaniteux was a-length-and-a-quarter back in second.

It was a seventh win of the meeting for Johnson, who has ridden six of his winners for trainer Philip Hobbs.

Johnson won three races on Friday and also rode Dunraven Storm to victory in Sunday's prestigious Arkle Trophy Trial Novices' Chase.

He said: "It's amazing. To come there thinking you might have one winner is great and anything more than that is a bonus."

Hobbs paid tribute to the jockey, saying: "It's unbelievable. I can't remember having six winners at any meeting so we'll enjoy it while it lasts."

BBC racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght
"Richard Johnson is jump racing's greatest unsung hero, having ridden hundreds more winners than any other rider - apart that is from AP McCoy.
"In a remarkable 15 of McCoy's record 19 championships, 37-year-old Johnson has been runner-up, but he's never once bemoaned his lot.
"Johnson has in one respect joined McCoy in that his seven successes (from 17 races for which he was eligible) equals the record set by his friend and rival in 2001."

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