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Michael Graham

Michael Graham

Teahupoo endorses his Stayers' Hurdle credentials

Teahupoo winning by 15 lengths on his first crack at an extended three milesTeahupoo winning by 15 lengths on his first crack at an extended three miles
© Photo Healy Racing

Teahupoo moved to the head of the ante-post market for the Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham with an impressive success in the Grade 2 John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle.

He took the scalp of the previously unbeaten Honeysuckle on his last start in the Grade 1 Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse in December and was up in trip to an extended three miles for the first time in this Gowran Park assignment.

The 4/11 favourite made headway to dispute before the third last and worked his way to the front racing to the next.

He readily moved clear of his five rivals before the final flight and powered in by a commanding 15 lengths under Davy Russell. Summerville Boy took a remote second at 10/1.

Gordon Elliott said: "He was good and is a good horse. He is going the right way and the plan is to go straight to Cheltenham (for the Stayers' Hurdle). It was two-miles in Cheltenham last year and I'd say this distance is the key to him - over two miles the gun is to your head the whole time.

"I know he was well beaten in Punchestown, but he wasn't actually beaten that far and he wasn't tailed off. At the moment we have no worries ground-wise although it (Stayers' Hurdle) is an open race too.

"Davy said he panicked and got there a bit soon, as he is so laid-back early but, when he gave a squeeze, he leapt back on the bridle. You'd love the way he quickened from the second-last to the line."

Paddy Power were sufficiently impressed to make him 11/4 favourite from 7/1 for the Stayers' Hurdle.

Additional reporting by Tom Weekes