Friday 17 August 2018

Watch: Willie Mullins' Draconien spring a surprise to land the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle

Draconien ridden by Jockey Noel Fehily (centre) on the way to winning the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle during day one of the Punchestown Festival 2018 at Punchestown
Draconien ridden by Jockey Noel Fehily (centre) on the way to winning the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle during day one of the Punchestown Festival 2018 at Punchestown
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Draconien got Willie Mullins off to a flying start at this year's Punchestown Festival after springing a surprise in the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle.

The reigning champion trainer has significant ground to make up on rival Gordon Elliott in this year's title race, but reduced the deficit in the first Grade One contest of the week.

Mullins fielded four of the 10 runners and it was his 11-10 favourite Getabird who cut out much of the running in the hands Paul Townend.

However, he was a spent force from the home turn and was first claimed by Colin Tizzard's British challenger Vision Des Flos, before 25-1 shot Draconien came through under a confident Noel Fehily to claim victory by two and a quarter lengths.

Vision Des Flos was a clear second, with Elliott's Mengli Khan best of the rest in third.

More to follow

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