Hurricane Fly has been officially rated as the best 2mile hurdler since Istabraq, after receiving a mark just 3Ib inferior to the three time Champion Hurdle winner.
The Willie Mullins trained 7-y-o, was given a rating of 173 in the Anglo-Irish Jump Classifications announced on Tuesday. He was credited with this mark after his runaway victory in Punchestown, where he defeated stablemate Thousand Stars in the Rabobank Champion Hurdle.
Big Buck’s is once again the top rated hurdler in training,achieving a rating of 174 for the third year in-a-row. Paul Nicholls charge won the Stayers Hurdle at Cheltenham and appears to have that race at his mercy once again in 2012.
Irish handicapper Noel O’Brien said: “Hurricane Fly got the rating of 173 from Punchestown, he was probably 172 at Cheltenham.
“He has always looked a champion in waiting and he got his chance this year. I think he’s one of the best hurdlers we have seen for quite a while, the way he jumps and travels.”
Gold Cup winner Long Run, was rated the best chaser in training. The Nicky Henderson inmate was given a rating of 182. This left him 5lb ahead of Denman (177) in the three-mile division, and only the top two-and-a-half-miler Master Minded got closer on 178.
Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Sizing Europe (177) was placed 1lb above his old rival Big Zeb.
Wishfull Thinking (164) was the best of the novice chasers,while Al Ferof and Spirit Son shared the top honours for a novice hurdler on 154.