Hurricane Fly finally had the chance to justify his lofty reputation with an awesome display in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham on Tuesday.
The superstar put a smile on the face of Irish punters after he was backed into favourite on course and Ruby Walsh landed his second victory at the meeting with a devilishly good ride on Willie Mullins’ talented raider.
Settled in mid-division for much of the race, Hurricane Fly travelled superbly well after travelling a bit freely over the first few hurdles and he loomed over his rivals two obstacles from home.
After jumping the last in second, he travelled past a brave Peddlers Cross and managed to hold off Donald McCain’s unbeaten Fighting Fifth winner in a thrilling finish to the two-mile showpiece.
Oscar Whisky finished third but it was Hurricane Fly’s day and horse racing fanatics will be left wondering whether Binocular would have beaten him if he had made it to the track.
couldn't have had a worse result in the race they sponsor, the Stan James Champion Hurdle and spokesman Garry McGibbon said: "To make matters worse we’ve had to give away a shed load of free bets as a consequence of Hurricane Fly winning.
"We ran a Free Bet Giveaway last autumn saying we’d giveaway free bets if Binocular won the Champion Hurdle, but because Binocular never ran we replaced him – as a goodwill gesture to all customers who took part in the offer - with Hurricane Fly.
"Add that to the fact we refunded all ante-post stakes on Binocular, it’s turned out to be a very costly way to mark our first sponsorship of the Stan James Champion Hurdle!"