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Mouchoir wins BHP Insurance Irish Champion

Petit Mouchoir and David Mullins clear the lastPetit Mouchoir and David Mullins clear the last
© Photo Healy Racing

Petit Mouchoir repeated his Grade 1 victory here at Christmas when again forcing the pace, this time under David Mullins, to land the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown.

The Gigginstown-owned gelding was again getting the better of Nichols Canyon when that rival fell at the last, although Footpad kept on well on the run-in to get within a length at the line.

The only other runner, in the absence of the lame Faugheen, was Ivanovich Gorbatov who failed to get in a blow and was 37 lengths back in third.

However bookmaker reaction with a view to Cheltenham was mixed, with Paddy Power (6/1 from 9/2) and Betfair Sportsbook (13/2) both pushing him out for the Stan James Champion Hurdle.

Boylesports were more impressed going 4/1 (from 5/1), while Ladbrokes left the grey unchanged at 9/2.

However winning trainer Henry de Bromhead was delighted saying, “It’s hard to do what he’s done twice now, bounce out and just go flat to the mat the whole way. Footpad finished a bit closer than at Christmas but it’s still a really good performance and I’m delighted with him.

“He was taken on a bit earlier this time. Ruby didn’t let him out of his sights, and they were racing a lot sooner which made it more open to a horse coming from behind.

“He reminds me of (Sizing) Europe in that he needs a strong gallop the whole way. He’s not a fast horse at home, he’s a galloping horse and they just need that good strong gallop. He’s brilliant in that he can go out and make it for himself but he doesn’t have to make the running.

“It was a super ride from David, and I’m just delighted to have a horse like him.”

De Bromhead was completing a Grade 1 double on the afternoon having earlier landed the Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase with Some Plan

About Alan Magee
Alan has worked in the racing industry for well over 30 years including with the Sporting Life, Turform and Irish Racing Services. He took up his current role as Irish Racing Team Leader with the Press Association in 2013. He has a keen interest in most sports and plays golf.