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Hurricane shows Champion credentials

So what did we learn from all that top quality action at Fairyhouse?

Starting with the Hatton's Grace Hurdle over 2m4f and Hurricane Fly is a stand out price at 11/2 with William Hill for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Willie Mullins' son of Montjeu was a massive price at 3/1 yesterday and while the trip was a concern, Hurricane Fly has proven at almost every time of asking that he is one of the best around in this country.

The French import will now have to come through some close inspections before Leopardstown at Christmas to see if he lines up there, but considering he has now won three Grade Ones on the back of lengthy lay-offs, don't be surprised if we don't see him again for a while.

The Irish Champion Hurdle in January may prove a better option for Mullins before he does everything he can to get him to Cheltenham after the horse missed 2009 and 2010 there.

To win a Champion Hurdle you need a horse with bags of class -- check. Bags of speed -- check. And the ability to stay well -- check.

Hurricane Fly has all you need.

If you were to listen to the bookmakers' reaction, Mikael D'Haguenet was going to be a clear winner of the Drinmore yesterday and some places will offer 16/1 about the winner of that race while it is 6/1 about the favourite who failed to complete.

Mikael D'Haguenet would have probably won, but Jessies Dream put in a clear round and that's the name of the game. Willie Mullins said: "It was just one of those things that happens when you step an inexperienced horse into a Grade One, he just didn't have experience to jump at that pace.


"I just hope the horse learns from it and not lose his confidence, but both the horse and Paul are fine after it."

It was great to see Mikael D'Haguenet back after almost 600 days off the track and he was foot perfect until the last so if he can restore his confidence he has proved before he has the class to return to the big stage in March. 6/1 is a bit short at the moment, however.

Zaidpour was arguably the most impressive winner of the day and he is now disputing favouritism for the Supreme Novices Hurdle.

Indeed Stan James and William Hill went as far as to push Cue Card out in the betting on the basis of how impressive Zaidpour was.

Mullins said that he hasn't had the opportunity to get proper work into the horse and he will continue to improve so that leaves yesterday's efforts very mouth-watering indeed.

However, there's still a long way to go yet; Zaidpour beat a moderate bunch at Punchestown and a small field at Fairyhouse, while Cue Card put it up to the Champion Hurdle favourite for a long time in last Saturday's Inter-national Hurdle at Cheltenham.