Lieutenant upsets odds in novice

Wed 29th Dec 2010, 13:42

First Lieutenant upset the odds when flooring ¼ hot pot Zaidpour in the Future Champions Novice Hurdle.

Davy Russell's mount dug deep on the run-in in a thrilling three horse finish as the confidently ridden Zaidpour just failed by a neck to peg back the 16/1 winner.

Hidden Cyclone made a mistake at the last but still kept on well to finish just another half length adrift in third.

“I didn't fancy him over this trip as he's a two and a half mile horse, and in fairness to Michael O'Leary it was his idea to come here. I wanted to go for a winners of one at Limerick but he said why not have a go and if you're not in you can't win,” said winning trainer Mouse Morris.

“I'll have to talk with my trainer (O'Leary) to see where we go next,” quipped Morris before adding, “If he goes to Cheltenham it would be for the two and a half mile race (Neptune Investment Novices Hurdle) but he's a horse for next year.”

Willie Mullins was obviously disappointed with Zaidpour but reflected that the race may have just come a bit too soon after his win in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse two weeks ago.

Shark Hanlon was “thrilled” with Hidden Cyclone saying, “He's been beaten less than a length in a Grade 1 and will be much better over two and a half miles. He'll come back here for the two and a quarter mile novice in about a months time.”

Stan James have slashed First Lieutenant from 40/1 in to 10's for the "Neptune", while the same firm eased Zaidpour out to 8/1 (from 6/1) for the same race.