Racing TV ‘€12 per Month This Weekend Only’ Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1)
AFTER Pied Piper strutted his stuff the previous weekend, the cream of the Irish juvenile crop turned out for an intriguing edition of this contest. The Willie Mullins-trained winner Vauban signalled that the first-named will have a real fight on his hands when the pair cross swords again next month.
A listed winner on the flat in France last summer, Vauban found Pied Piper too strong in a Punchestown maiden hurdle on New Year’s Eve and that run alone marked him out as one of the foremost contenders for this prize.
So far this term, Fil Dor had held sway in the juvenile division but his winning run came to an end here as Vauban was simply too strong with a display that oozed class and quality.
Fil Dor led the field into the straight but travelling especially well on his heels were Vauban (9/4) and Icare Allen and Paul Townend’s winner showed that he has transferred all his flat class to this relatively new discipline.
The Susannah Ricci-owned son of Galiway quickened past Fil Dor as the last flight loomed and sustained his effort in fine style to score by three lengths from the favourite.
Il Etait Temps, a stablemate of the winner and making his jumping debut, ran a huge race to lie a further two and three-quarter lengths back in third.
“His Punchestown run looks very good and we felt if Paul got him jumping today he could improve hugely on his Punchestown run which he did and it puts him in the picture now,” stated Mullins.
“It’s a lovely way for him to break his maiden over hurdles. We thought he was a very nice horse before we bought him and he looked a serious horse on the flat in France so we were just hoping to teach him how to jump.”