Super Fly bows out
Published 01/09/2015 | 09:09
Hurricane Fly, one of the greatest hurdlers in the history of jumps racing, has been retired.
Time has been called on the career of the record-breaking 11-year-old, who won an astonishing 22 Grade One races.
The son of Montjeu won 24 of his 32 races over hurdles, including the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2011 and 2013.
He earned connections nearly £1.9million in prize-money and had his final career start in the French Champion Hurdle at Auteuil in June, when he could only finish sixth.
Leopardstown was his favourite racecourse as he was unbeaten in 10 starts - all of which came at Grade One class - at the Dublin circuit.
Paul Townend rode Hurricane Fly eight times, winning six Grade Ones.
"He played a huge part in my career," said Townend.
"It's sad that he's retired, but, at the same time, he's still in one piece and is a happy horse.
"The owners and Willie had a chat and decided now was the time.
"I had my first ride in a Grade One on him (when winning the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse in 2008) and was lucky enough to have some great days with him.
"He was a tough horse with a huge heart and a will to win. I owe him a lot."
Hurricane Fly won the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown a record-breaking five times in succession.
Nessa Joyce, the track's racing and operations manager, said: "The Champion Hurdle here won't be the same without him, that's for sure.
"Everyone here has lots of good memories and I know there have already been discussions on the best way to acknowledge his achievements. I think everyone was just waiting to see whether he would retire or make another comeback.
"He's unbeaten at Leopardstown, which is an incredible record."