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Hats Off to the Great Hurricane Fly


November 18, 2013 - It might not have been his most impressive victory but the great Hurricane Fly nevertheless went down as the winner of more Grade 1 races than any other in history with his successful seasonal debut at Punchestown in the Morgiana Hurdle.

Ridden as usual by Ruby Walsh, the Willie Mullins-trained nine-year-old was sent off at racing betting odds of 1/16 in the five-runner field, few punters being prepared to oppose the horse who won back his Champion Hurdle crown at the Cheltenham Festival in March as he went through last season unbeaten.

Taking his career tally to 21 successes from 32 starts, Hurricane Fly surpassed the record he had held jointly with the mighty dual Cheltenham Gold Cup and multiple King George VI Chase winner, Kauto Star, and the legendary US sensation, John Henry, the horse who went from rags to riches in a sensational period through the early to mid-1980’s.

His workmanlike victory over stable companion, Marito, meant that Hurricane Fly has now passed the £1.5 million career prize money mark, a tally that racing live betting fans will recognise as an astonishing amount for a jumps horse. A relieved Mullins admitted his star was far from at the peak of his powers for this first outing of the campaign.

" That's probably one of his least impressive performances, if not his least” admitted Mullins. "That's as ready as he was and he'll improve away during the rest of the season. Paddock observers would have said he's as big and as heavy as he's ever been. He will stick to the same routine...and we'll look forward to Christmas [Festival Hurdle at Leopardstown]."

Walsh added his tribute to an outstanding racehorse, saying “To win 17 Grade 1's is some testament to the horse and to Willie [Mullins] and his staff. It's no easy job to train a horse to win so many top level races. Hurricane Fly is a super horse and there should be a lot of improvement to come from today's race.”

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