MAYBE it was all a big cunning plan. Maybe those who still have their full faith in Hurricane Fly pretended not to, so that they would be able to back him at a crazy price of 7/4 for the first time in three years. Or maybe not.
Those who did keep the faith were rewarded with a very backable price last Sunday and Willie Mullins certainly does have a plan and one that he has never been afraid to share with the public even though some of them appeared to ignore it. From before Hurricane Fly ran in the Morgiana Hurdle, we were told he would improve. Afterwards, following one of the horse's least impressive performances, Mullins admitted again that Fly would get better before Leopardstown.
And, as the trainer predicted, he did improve and it was enough to beat two exciting pretenders in Jezki and Our Conor and afterwards he predicted even more progress. A return to Leopardstown is the next stop on the road for the 18-time Grade One winner, but Mullins' plan is undoubtedly a third Cheltenham Champion Hurdle and considering everything we saw last week, it is hard to believe he is not the favourite.
Those who were willing to lay the 7/4 about Hurricane Fly ahead of Sunday's race on the back of his average run in the Morgiana clearly ignored Mullins' comments and also forgot that in the Morgiana the previous year he was going to be beaten by Go Native before he fell at the last and the Morgiana is not a race that he'll be at his best in. Expect even more to come from the Fly.