Tuesday's card at Punchestown marked the passing of an era as trainer John Hanlon announced the retirement of stable star Hidden Cyclone whose class was matched by both his longevity and his enthusiasm.
The 13-year-old returned from a year off to finish an honourable third to Eight Till Late in the two miles rated hurdle after which Hanlon announced that the Annette Mee-owned gelding had bowed out of competitive action.
“We’ve had some great days with him and he’s won nearly €800,000.
Over the course of his career Hidden Cyclone ran 48 times, won 17 races and finished in the first four on 37 occasions. The son of Stowaway retires as a four-times Grade 2 winner and a dual Grade 3 scorer while he also performed with distinction at the highest level. Hidden Cyclone’s effort in Grade 1 company include an excellent second to Dynaste in the 2014 Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
“He had a lot of good days and even though he didn’t win it the Ryanair Cheltenham was one day that stands out and he ran really well in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle a couple of years ago,” reflected Hanlon. “We’ve had some great days with him and he’s won nearly €800,000. I’ve had since I bought him as a three-year-old store.
"Hopefully we’ll see him in the racehorse to riding horse class at the Dublin Horse Show next year.”
Also on Tuesday's card, Ruby Walsh scored his first win since returning from injury as My Sister Sarah claimed the maiden hurdle.
Walsh, sidelined since taking a crashing fall at Killarney in August, was having just his third ride back and after striking out on his first couple of attempts on Sunday, the Willie Mullins-trained My Sister Sarah ensured his return to the winner’s enclosure.
Sent off the 4/11 favourite, My Sister Sarah came home an easy 10-length winner and while Mullins was thrilled to see his stable jockey back in front, he was equally as enthused by his winner.
He said: “It’s nice to have Ruby back and we think that mare has a future. She has a lovely pedigree that includes Long Run, so stamina shouldn’t be any problem. Hopefully she’ll improve her hurdling.”
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