Unaccompanied races to victory in Istabraq Festival Hurdle

Unaccompanied jumps the last fence to win the Istabraq Festival Hurdle

Unaccompanied showed the boys the way home with victory in the Istabraq Festival Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Dermot Weld's filly beat a host of high-class hurdlers with something to spare under a fine Paul Townend ride.

Thousand Stars was the even-money favourite with Ruby Walsh, but he was unable to match Unaccompanied when she quickened for home.

"I was concerned I was throwing her in the deep end against proven horses, but she answered the call," Weld said.

The four-year-old cruised into the home straight before passing Oscars Well on the run to the final flight, after which she pulled clear for a one-and-a-half-length victory.

She was also a Grade One winner at the same track in February before going on to fill the runner-up spot in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham.

As a result, Unaccompanied has seen her odds tumble to 12-1 for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March - and Weld admits he already has one eye on that race.

"The Irish Champion Hurdle in a month's time is the logical step," he said. "And if everything went well we'll look at the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham."