Hurricane Fly takes third successive Champion Hurdle crown27/04/2012 - 17:43:07
Hurricane Fly put his disappointing run at Cheltenham behind him by claiming his third successive victory in the Rabobank Champion Hurdle at Punchestown this afternoon.
The Willie Mullins-trained star had been so impressive on his belated seasonal reappearance in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown in January he was sent off at odds-on to land his second Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham last month.
However, the eight-year-old was never travelling with his customary panache at Prestbury Park and had to make do with an honourable third.
Sent off the 4-11 favourite to bounce back, the eight-year-old was settled at the rear of the four-runner field for much of the two-mile journey.
He made progress to take closer order rounding the home turn, although for a moment it appeared stable companion Zaidpour was going marginally the better of the two.
The pair approached the final flight together and it was Hurricane Fly who produced the better jump and got away from it the quicker to seal a three-and-a-half-length victory.
Zaidpour was a clear second, with early front-runner Thousand Stars completing a one-two-three for the champion trainer.
The Real Article came home last of the quartet.
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