Bog Warrior and Davy Russell clear the last at Punchestown
©Healy Racing Photos
By Gary Carson
Bog Warrior proved a class act when running out an impressive winner of the Follow Punchestown on Facebook Hurdle this afternoon.
Tony Martin's charge had a setback on his return over fences this season when taking a tired fall at Down Royal.
He bounced back at Fairyhouse last time, however, when running away with a handicap hurdle and put some classy horses in their place today.
Davy Russell tracked leader Belle Brook before taking over at the fourth last flight in the two-and-a-half mile contest.
Solwhit looked a danger before the bend but couldn't live with the 11/8 favourite in the closing stages as he stormed clear for a comprehensive six-and-a-half length victory.
“I'm thrilled with that. He improved from the north and at Fairyhouse he was good but that was him today and it's great to see,” said Martin.
“There was no hiding place for anything there. I'll have a chat with the boys now (owners Gigginstown) and see what way they want to go.
“It's just great to get a couple of wins with him. I'm just happy to go for something nice after today.
“We'll see how he is in the morning and week ahead. That's the most important thing as he's had a few problems in the past.”
<Bog Warrior was introduced at 12/1 for the World Hurdle at Cheltenham by Paddy Power.
Charles Byrnes was also pleased with the effort ofp>Solwhit on his return from a long break:-
“I'm well pleased with that. Andrew said he gave a good blow after the second last and the winners' a good horse on that ground.
“I'm happy going forward now and hopefully he's ok in the morning. We could look at the Limestone Lad Hurdle at Naas over 2m3f (19th January) or the Galmoy at Gowran (24th January) over three miles.
“I'll probably make an entry for the Irish Champion but I'd doubt if he'd run in it.”