Ireland’s best hurdler Hurricane Fly (IRE) claimed his seventh Grade 1 win when landing the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday. His stable-mate Thousand Stars took them along at a strong pace but Hurricane Fly was always travelling smoothly under regular pilot Paul Townend and he quickened up impressively in the straight to see off his usual rival Solwhit for the fourth time in a row. Interestingly the winning margin over Solwhit four runs ago was a neck and each time since it has been increased, with Sundays margin of three and a half lengths the widest so far. Trainer Willie Mullins was very pleased with his performance and it will be all systems go for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham with the trainer commenting; "I'm delighted to get that out of the way and it's my first [Irish] Champion Hurdle so I'm going to enjoy it."
Hurricane Fly was a €65,000 purchase as a yearling in Goffs when he was consigned by the Irish National Stud. Commencing his racing career in France he beat subsequent Group 1 winner Literato in a Listed race in Saint Cloud before being recommended to Mullins by Richard Hobson. Since being repatriated to Ireland Hurricane Fly has won nine of his eleven starts over hurdles and lets hope he makes it to Cheltenham in top form to take on Binocular, Peddlers Cross et al. Scandisk (IRE) the dam of Hurricane Fly was sold at Tattersalls Ireland in 2009 in foal to Shirocco for €63,000. The subsequent Shirocco colt foal was sold at Tattersalls Ireland last November for €47,000 so Scandisk’s new owners got a swift return on their investment. Hopefully the now 16yo mare will produce some more siblings to the George Creighton owned star hurdler.