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Mullins lauds Hurricane's high five
26 Jan 2015 11:11
Jubilant Hurricane Fly trainer Willie Mullins said his horse knows no bounds when it comes to Irish Champion Hurdle day after a fifth consecutive win the Grade One event at Leopardstown today.
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"We're just enjoying days like this now and you have to keep asking 'are you sure he's not five?' - he keeps pulling out performances like that,” said the Co Carlow trainer.
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“He was fantastic and he did it the hard way, they made a staying race of it.”
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Mullins’ 11-year-old made it 11 starts unbeaten at the south Dublin track and fully justified his 11-10 favouritism, although his big rival Jezki (5-4) took over from pacemaker Plinth in the home turn, with Hurricane Fly responding to Walsh's urgings on the inside of the track.
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The big two headed down to the final flight as one and Hurricane Fly appeared to be getting on top when Jezki blundered, handing his old rival the initiative.
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"I thought it was a slow pace over the first two furlongs, but when they disappeared around the bend and down the back, they took off,” said Mullins.
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“So much so that he appeared not to be able to keep up, but when push came to shove, he just got down to race and he got, as he always does, a crucial jump at the last and the other horse made a mistake and that was it, all over.
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"He's beaten the reigning English (Champion Hurdle) champion three times this season, but I was certainly worried going down the back today.
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"They quickened and there was a gap of two to three lengths. That's where it means so much to have a rider like Ruby that won't panic.
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"It's all go for Cheltenham now."
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Ruby Walsh now faces the tough decision on whether to ride Hurricane Fly once more at Cheltenham in March or partner his stable companion and Champion Hurdle favourite Faugheen.
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Asked which horse Walsh would ride, Mullins said: "He might ask for my advice on what to ride, but first of all you have to get there and we can worry about that on the day."
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