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Hurricane Fly sets world record at Punchestown

Updated: Sunday, 17 Nov 2013 15:22 | Comments

Hurricane Fly won his 17th Grand One race at Punchestown
Hurricane Fly won his 17th Grand One race at Punchestown

Hurricane Fly set a new world record of 17 Grade One wins with a fluent success in the StanJames.com Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown.

Willie Mullins' brilliant hurdler overtook Paul Nicholls' outstanding chaser Kauto Star and legendary American Flat performer John Henry as the winning-most horse at the highest level with his eighth course and distance success.

Sent off at highly-prohibitive odds of 1-16, Hurricane Fly was registering a 21st career victory from 32 starts.

His stablemate Mikael D'Haguenet led until after the second-last, where Ruby Walsh brought Hurricane Fly to challenge.

A fine jump at the final flight settled matters, although a third Mullins runner in Marito stayed on to close on the winner at the line.

Mullins also saddled the fourth, Midnight Game, with Michael Bowe's Akatara last of the five.

Mullins said: "It's great to get that out of the way. That's probably one of his least impressive performances, if not his least.

"That's as ready as he was and he'll improve away during the rest of the season. He came back very strong and even though he was working well he needed that badly.

"Paddock observers would have said he's as big and as heavy as he's ever been. I think there is a lot of improvement in him.

"He will stick to the same routine, and hopefully he comes out of this safe and sound and we'll look forward to Christmas (Festival Hurdle at Leopardstown."

The trainer said of Marito: "He ran a cracker and is improving. There's no plans and we'll take it week by week, but I think there's a nice race in him somewhere.

"He did a lovely piece of work the other day and showed that today."

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