Leopardstown: Hurricane Fly claims Ryanair Hurdle victory

Hurricane Fly with jockey Ruby Walsh (l) and trainer Willie Mullins

Champion Hurdler Hurricane Fly has extended the world record for Grade One victories, winning the two-mile Ryanair Hurdle at Leopardstown.

It was a 18th success at the top level for the Willie Mullins-trained horse, who was ridden by Ruby Walsh.

The 11-10 favourite raced away from second-placed Jezki (15-8).

The nine-year-old immediately had his odds cut for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, a race he won in 2011 and 2013.

After victory in Punchestown's Morgiana Hurdle on his seasonal bow, Hurricane Fly was at the back of the field for most of the race before slaloming into contention.

Hurricane Fly jumped the last a fraction behind Our Conor, who, along with Captain Cee Bee, had earlier squeezed Jezki for room approaching the final flight.

Our Conor did not have much more to give but Jezki stayed on stoutly for jockey Tony McCoy.

Hurricane Fly was hardly knocked off his stride, though, easing home for another landmark success.

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