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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Hurricane blows away rivalsHeadlines
Hurricane Fly is clear at the final flight

Willie Mullins hailed Hurricane Fly as back to his very best as recorded his third successive win in the BHP Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown in most impressive fashion.

The nine-year-old (1-6 favourite) never came off the bridle in registering his 14th Grade One success, setting himself up perfectly for his bid to regain the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Thousand Stars made it a decent gallop in atrocious weather, but when Ruby Walsh made his move rounding the home turn he soon skipped well clear, before easing over the line with a five-length advantage. His stablemate held Binocular, who travelled well for a long way, by a nose for second.

Mullins said: "He's well used to these conditions and he flies through that ground, so everything went according to plan. We didn't know what One Cool Shabra was going to do, but we weren't going to be hanging around with either horse (Hurricane Fly and Thousand Stars) if there was no pace.

"When you look at the race it was a tip-top race. Binocular has won a Champion Hurdle, Thousand Stars has won two French Champion Hurdles and Captain Cee Bee won a Supreme.

"Everything had gone 100% in his preparation. Ruby said he's as good as he ever saw him. He gave him a squeeze turning off the last bend and said it was just like he had jumped in. He took off like he was on summer ground and I just hope to keep him in that form over the next six or seven weeks.

"I've had faith in him all year and he seems to be in the sort of form he was two years ago."

On Thousand Stars, Mullins added: "He ran a cracker and is coming back to himself - we may keep him for the Aintree Hurdle. They've brought that race back to Thursday this year so the gap between it and Cheltenham is that bit tighter."

Walsh, also delighted with Hurricane Fly's run, told ATR: "I thought it was a very good performance. It was a good, even gallop, he travelled well, he jumped well and he moved away effortlessly from Paul's horse (Thousand Stars). He's probably a fitter horse than last year. Hopefully that will stand him in good stead in March."

The stewards looked into the running and riding of Binocular in third, but the explanations offered by Nicky Henderson and Tony McCoy were accepted.

3 July 2015

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Doyle and Johnston shine at Sandown
Johnson scorches to fastest fifty
Windshear up for the Cup
Muhaarar in great form - Hills
Cyclone set for Leopardstown outing
Chantilly off the radar for Test
Waady aiming to step up
Angel major Sandown doubt
Strong Gosden hand at Newmarket
Doyle up for the Challenge
Gatsby sets sights on Horn
Queen aiming to reign in Oaks
Gosden respects Golden rivals
Sandown team mull watering plans
Kazeem on comeback trail
Lennox option for Limato
Magnificent seven for Elliott
Pendleton thrilled with first ride
Balding hoping for Park August run
Kirby unscathed in house fire
Pilot charters path to York
Provenance has claims on Sandown
Soapy out to slay Dragon rivals
Spencer rides Gatsby in Eclipse
Space considered for Ascot return

2 July 2015

Creighton discharged from hospital
Postulation checks in at Belmont
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Mecca's takes Thirsk honours
Dods waits on Angel decision
Soumillon takes Certain ride
Mile on Spear radar
September aim for Tryster
Cup aim for Arab
Time out for Hannon aces
Close encounter excites Doyle
Island to drop in grade

1 July 2015

Muir keeps faith with Baz
Lynam ponders dual July raid
Geraghty targets weekend return
Pendleton swaps saddles at Newbury
Latharnach given Goodwood aim
More Stewart woe for Lynam
Time makes all the right moves
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Walsh remembers 'heavyweight' Kauto
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Nicholls leads Kauto tributes
Star put down after paddock fall

30 June 2015

Towcester chief facing BHA charges
Down Royal proud to have seen Kauto
Nicholls leads Kauto tributes
Sad end for super Star
Doyle keen on Beau chance
Pontefract firsts for Hannon
Horn long odds-on for Eclipse
Frustration continues for Tudhope
Globetrotting Glance retired
Package heads for retirement
Falmouth caution for Integral
Stars on Leger course
Chase set for drop in class
Vintage option for Sails

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