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  1. #1

    Leopardstown Istabraq Hurdle 2012

    Just noticed Peddlers cross entered

    346D Istabraq Festival H'dle (Grade 1) €55,250.00

    0 1131-1 Hurricane Fly41 8 11-10 W P Mullins — 165 177
    0 222-23 Voler La Vedette27 8 11-3 C A Murphy — 163 174
    0 82-251 Zaidpour27 6 11-10 W P Mullins — 156 170
    0 23-114 Thousand Stars83 8 11-10 W P Mullins — 147 169
    0 2312-1 Countrywide Flame28 4 11-7 John Quinn — 141 168
    0 113-12 Monksland27 5 11-10 Noel Meade — 143 165
    0 4114- Unaccompanied55F 5 11-3 D K Weld — 152 164
    0 11F21- Darlan260 5 11-10 Nicky Henderson — 151 162
    0 5-2312 Captain Cee Bee41 11 11-10 Edward P Harty — 150 160
    0 1119-4 So Young27 6 11-10 W P Mullins — 129 159
    0 213-12 Staying Article28 7 11-10 E J O´Grady — 146 158
    0 1111-2 Cinders And Ashes28 5 11-10 Donald McCain — 153 155
    0 1217- Galileo´s Choice53F 6 11-10 D K Weld — 139 152
    0 1064-1 Midnight Game28 5 11-10 W P Mullins — 132 151
    0 132-24 Trifolium28 5 11-10 C Byrnes — 150 151
    0 52-352 Blackstairmountain41 7 11-10 W P Mullins — 110 150
    0 121-94 Hisaabaat49 4 11-7 D K Weld — 130 149
    0 1128- Peddlers Cross289 7 11-10 Donald McCain — — —
    0 02928/ Tilabay17F 7 11-10 S Buggy — — —

    Willie Mullins...

    One horse whose plans are set in stone is Hurricane Fly, who will line up in the two-mile Istabraq Festival Hurdle at Leopardstown on December 29.

    "Touch wood, everything has gone to plan with him this season with his preparation," said Mullins. "He'll take the same route to Cheltenham as two years ago and run in the Istabraq before we look at the Irish Champion Hurdle."

    After Zarkandar's victory at Cheltenham on Saturday, successful trainer Paul Nicholls indicated that he hoped to persuade Hurricane Fly's regular rider to defect for this year's Champion Hurdle, but Mullins retains full confidence in his charge as he bids to regain the championship crown in March.

    "We'll see what Ruby thinks!" he said. "He's going very well at the moment. You'd think he might want quicker ground as a Flat-bred horse with so much speed, but he's won on everything from two miles on good to two on a half miles on soft, so it doesn't seem to bother him."

    Among Hurricane Fly's potential opposition are Cinders And Ashes and Countrywide Flame, although the trainers of both of those runners are preferring Kempton's Christmas Hurdle as an option. But Nicky Henderson's Darlan, pulled out of the Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot at Monday's forfeit stage, could still take his chance.
    Last edited by Old Vic; 12-17-2012 at 06:54 PM.

  2. #2
    HURRICANE Fly will face just four rivals as he aims to regain his crown in the Istabraq Festival Hurdle at Leopardstown tomorrow.

    The 2011 Champion Hurdle hero missed the first half of last season with injury, but following a scintillating comeback in the Irish Champion Hurdle, he was odds-on to strike gold again at Cheltenham in March.

    However, he was beaten into third in a lacklustre display and although he did sign off with victory at Punchestown, he headed into the new campaign with questions to answer.

    Willie Mullins' stable star travelled with far more zest when making a winning return in the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown last month and will be odds-on to follow up this weekend.

    The champion trainer also saddles the consistent Thousand Stars, while the main threat from outside the yard is Dermot Weld-trained mare Unaccompanied, winner of this Grade One prize 12 months ago.

    Eddie Harty's veteran Captain Cee Bee and rank outsider Tilabay complete the line-up.

    Mullins is pleased with Hurricane Fly's condition going into his latest assignment as he aims to make it five wins from five starts at Leopardstown.

    "He's in good form, I'm very pleased with him at home at the moment," said Mullins.

    "Leopardstown is a track we know he likes, he's won there on all sorts of ground, so we'll see what happens.

    "We'll get tomorrow out of the way before we make plans for the rest of the season."

    Thousand Stars failed to fire on his seasonal reappearance at Tipperary in October but the champion trainer believes his grey is in better form now.

    "I just hadn't been that happy with him going into the Tipperary race, but I think he is starting to come back to himself," said Mullins.

    "He has run well at Leopardstown before and the ground should be all right for him.

    "I decided to stick to two miles with him rather than run him in the three-mile race (Christmas Hurdle)."

    Weld believes Unaccompanied will improve for the run fitness-wise on her first appearance since appearing on the Flat at Leopardstown in early November.

    The trainer said: "It's her comeback race and she'll be running against the very best, against Hurricane Fly.

    "She'll probably need the run, but I think she'll represent us very well."

    Captain Cee Bee was 12 lengths behind Hurricane Fly when second in the Morgiana, profiting from the final flight fall of the ill-fated Go Native.

    Harty would be content with a similar result for his charge.

    He said: "He's in good form, I'm very happy with him and we'll see what happens.

    "If our horse can run as well as he did in the Morgiana behind Hurricane Fly I'll be happy.

    "It's a good race with Thousand Stars in there as well, so we'll just keep our fingers crossed.

    "He enjoyed being back over the proper hurdles in the Morgiana and at this stage of his career we want to keep him happy. There is no point asking him questions he can't answer.

    "We had him in the three-mile hurdle but with the way the ground has gone, we decided to stick to the shorter race."

  3. #3
    After my treble yesterday, today has a lot to live up to but I'm really looking forward to riding Hurricane Fly in the Istabraq.

    He had a very good comeback run in Punchestown, where he led Go Native to the last, where that one fell - it's a pity he's not here to contest it again.

    Hurricane Fly is really coming back to himself, he's in great form and hopefully he can progress on to the form he showed when he won the Champion Hurdle.

    Obviously Unaccompanied won the race last year when she beat Thousand Stars, who is having his first run since disappointing in Tipperary back in October. They're both very good horses on their day and it's a decent race but I'm very happy with the way Hurricane Fly has been going and I'm confident he can win.

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