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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 21 August, 2014

Hurricane Fly sees off all challengers in Ryanair Hurdle

Willie Mullins’ nine-year-old was too good on the final day of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival.

Hurricane Fly ridden by Ruby Walsh clears the last fence on his way to winning.
Hurricane Fly ridden by Ruby Walsh clears the last fence on his way to winning.
Image: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

HE WAS MEANT to be a horse in decline but Hurricane Fly proved the doubters wrong with a brilliant performance to defend his Ryanair Hurdle title in a quality renewal at Leopardstown today.

The Willie Mullins’ trained nine-year old started 11/10 favourite and saw off leading contenders Our Conor and Jezki thanks to a superb ride from Ruby Walsh.

It was Jezki who proved the best of the pretenders but while Tony McCoy’s mount stayed on well, he  just couldn’t match Hurricane Fly’s kick for home.

It’s now a remarkable 18 Grade One wins for Hurricane Fly and the result has seen his odds of retaining the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival in March slashed from 11/2 to 7/2 with My Tent Or Yours and The New One remaining 3/1 joint favourites.

After today’s performance though, few would bet against him.

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