independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Hughes gunning for Conor triumph

Dessie Hughrs 'couldn't be happier' with Our Conor ahead of Cheltenham

Dessie Hughes is hoping to improve Ireland's record in the JCB Triumph Hurdle with the impressive Our Conor.

With only two wins for the Emerald Isle in 20 years, it is one of only a handful of races at the Cheltenham Festival that Irish trainers have struggled to dominate.

However, following an impressive victory over the previously unbeaten Diakali, Our Conor is sharing favouritism with most bookmakers along with Nicky Henderson's Rolling Star.

"He has been brilliant from the first day he schooled over hurdles," Hughes told the Daily Telegraph.

"He coughed in December, which is why he missed running over Christmas. But he has done very well since his last win. I couldn't be happier.

"I've had Our Conor all the way through. He was rated mid-80s on the Flat and won a couple of races, but he was always destined for jumping. He schooled before he even ran on the Flat.

"It's hard to buy a good jumper off the Flat these days. Anything half-decent costs a fortune, so we decided to find one to race on the Flat ourselves, and we've been lucky to find Our Conor."

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