Unaccompanied races to victory in 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."