The high-class Hurricane Fly, winner of eight of his last nine outings at the highest level, could well return to the fray this season at Fairyhouse in the Grade 1 Bar One Racing Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at the Irish track on December 2, writes the latest horse racing news.
The outstanding son of Montjeu met his only defeat in the last three seasons when unable to justify odds-on favouritism in the Stan James Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, never travelling with his normal fluency before keeping on at the one pace in finishing third to Paul Nicholls’ Rock On Ruby.
He soon regained the winning thread though by ending his campaign on a high note, staying on too strongly for the smart Zaidpour to land the Grade 1 Rabobank Champion Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival in April by two-and-a-half lengths under his regular pilot, Ruby Walsh.
Trainer, Willie Mullins, reports the gelding to have done really well for his summer break and that he is coming on steadily ahead of his first outing of the term.
It seems all but certain that connections will seek to follow a tried and trusted path. All roads lead back to Cheltenham, where the eight-year-old will attempt to regain the crown he took in such impressive fashion when destroying a high-class field in the 2011 renewal, getting the better of the previously undefeated, Peddler’s Cross in a race to remember.
The winner of 15 of his 26 career starts and over £1,000,000 in prize money, a stunning achievement for any National Hunt performer, Hurricane Fly has only suffered two defeats in his hurdling career since joining Mullins from his native France way back in the summer of 2008. Bookmakers currently rate the Irish star a general 5/1 shot to regain his Champion Hurdle title.