It may have been his seasonal debut but you would have never known it as Hurricane Fly ran rough shot over a high class field to land his second BHP Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday afternoon.
The reigning Champion Hurdler was sent off the 4/5 favourite for the Grade 1 contest and his backers never had a moment’s worry as he cruised throughout the two mile contest to land a second Irish Champion Hurdle to his already impressive C.V.
In a race run in miserable conditions, Thousand Stars took the field on at a steady pace with Hurricane Fly content to race in the middle of the pack.
Turning for home, there was only one winner with Hurricane Fly lobbing along on a loose rein with Ruby Walsh looking around for non-existent dangers.
Walsh gave the Hurricane an inch of rein and the son of Montjeu eased through the gears to win by six and a half lengths from Oscars Well and Thousand Stars, with the high-class mare Unaccompanied back in fourth.
Speaking after the race, a delighted Willie Mullins said, “It is a complete surprise to me how well he did it. My first reaction is it might be his best ever performance.
“I hope he didn’t have too hard a race, as the ground was very gruelling, but we have six weeks to Cheltenham and that should give us plenty of time.”