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Colonel is the boss in thrilling three-miler

Yesterdays Gigginstown Grade One brace was instigated by the Sandra Hughes trained Lieutenant Colonel in what was one of the most welcome winners of the week at Leopardstown.

Hughes has done a sterling job in the last few months as she took over the running of her late father Dessie's Curragh base and the ever improving Lieutenant Colonel gave her a second Grade One triumph since taking over the licence when he landed a thrilling renewal of the Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle.

After winning the Hatton's Grace Hurdle in which Zaidpour was a faller, there was certainly no doubting the winners credentials yesterday as he turned in to the straight to go to war with Jetson and although the runner-up proved a tough nut to crack, Lieutenant Colonel had too much in reserve and is now 10/1 with Boylesports for the World Hurdle at Cheltenham.

"Christmas was very hard as you can imagine but this is fantastic for the boys in the yard but this is what we work for every day," Hughes said afterwards.

"We thought he would stay and he's very economical in his jumping. He stays well and has a bit of class and that's what you need to be a good three-miler and the World Hurdle at Cheltenham is his main aim."

Identity Thief won the first in the Gigginstown maroon colours when following up his bumper win at Fairyhouse for Henry de Bromhead.

Liz Doyle is still hoping to return to Cheltenham with exciting novice chaser Le Vent D'Antan who won the beginners chase and shall now return to Leopardstown for the Grade One Dr PJ Moriarty Novice Chase.