Past Winners » Hurricane Fly


Hurricane Fly could be the answer to the Royal Bond Hurdle. The Willie Mullins-trained gelding looked really good in landing his maiden at Punchestown last May on fast ground – a race from which the second, third and fourth have all come out and won – before going back to his homeland to win a Grade 3 hurdle at Auteuil, beating the highly talented Grivette into second place. The runner-up exacted his revenge in the Grade 1 four-year-old hurdle back over the same course and distance in June, the Prix Alain du Breil, but the Mullins horse lost no caste in finishing second, just two lengths behind the winner and in front of some useful performers, including his stable companion Quevega and the Sean Mulryan-owned Othermix.

The son of Montjeu was a classy performer on the flat in France, where his two wins included a listed race at Saint-Cloud when he had subsequent Champion Stakes winner Literato and subsequent Arlington Million winner Spirit One behind in second and third places. He proved in France that soft ground holds no fears, and his experience over hurdles will stand to him today.

There is a chance that Hurricane Fly will go slightly under the radar today with the attention that his more illustrious stable companion, Cousin Vinny, will command, and he may be under-bet as a result. It is difficult to argue that Cousin Vinny does not deserve his place at the top of the market. He looked really good both at Cheltenham and at Punchestown last spring, becoming the first horse to land both champion bumpers at the two festivals, and he is reported to have schooled well over hurdles at home. But it is a big ask for any horse to win a Grade 1 contest on his debut over jumps, and he is priced up short enough at no better than 2/1. Hurricane Fly is available at 9/2 on Betfair at the time of writing, and that is too big.


© The Sunday Times, 30th November, 2008