BETDAQ Punchestown Champion Hurdle
Grade 1, Punchestown 17:30
€200,000 added,
4yo plus,
2m, Class 1  
Friday 28th April 2017

Arctic Fire pencilled in for Champion date at Punchestown

Arctic Fire
© Caroline Norris
Arctic Fire

Cheltenham Festival hero Arctic Fire is set to return to the top level at Punchestown.

Having been sidelined by injury since chasing home esteemed stable companion Faugheen in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown in January of last year, the Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old produced a tremendous weight-carrying performance to land the County Hurdle under the steadier of 11st 12lb.

With Faugheen still on the sidelines, Arctic Fire could line up at Punchestown as his trainer's main hope for the two-mile Grade One on the Friday of the Festival.

Owner Nick Peacock said: " We were obviously delighted with him at Cheltenham.

"There was no confidence coming from Willie before the race - I pretty much had to talk him into running him - but the handicapper had given him a real chance by dropping him 11lb from his highest mark.

"If he was OK and he was fit for the race, then he had to have a leading chance and so it proved to be.

"I'm hoping he'll come on a bit more from the run and I would imagine he'll run in the Champion Hurdle at Punchestown now."

Wicklow Brave
© Caroline Norris
Order Of St George

Peacock was represented in this year's Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham by Wicklow Brave.

The winner of last year's Irish St Leger before disappointing in the Melbourne Cup, he was far from disgraced in finishing eighth considering he completely missed the break.

Wicklow Brave could now be set for a return to the Flat.

"He ran very well and if he'd consented to jump off with the others, he may well have won the race. As Paul Townend said to me when he came back in, you can't give away that sort of ground in a championship race and expect to win," said Peacock.

"He travelled well for a long way, but obviously had to put in extra effort to make up the ground and in the end he just ran out of fizz.

"I'm not sure where we'll go with him, but I would think the Yorkshire Cup would be a distinct possibility. I don't think we'd run him against Arctic Fire at Punchestown and I think he might be better coming out of the stalls.

"He showed in the Champion Hurdle he's still got plenty of ability."

BETDAQ Punchestown Champion Hurdle 2016 (Grade 1)
€200,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m, Class 1
6 ran
Going: Yielding

Pos Dist Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Vroum Vroum Mag (FR) 4/6f R Walsh
11-5
W P Mullins 7
2nd Identity Thief (IRE) 11/2 B J Cooper
11-12
H de Bromhead 6
3rd My Tent Or Yours (IRE) 11/4 B J Geraghty
11-12
N J Henderson 9
4th Fethard Player (IRE) 25/1 D J Mullins
11-12
W F Treacy 9
5th ¾ Sempre Medici (FR) 10/1 P Townend
11-12
W P Mullins 6
6th 21 Ted Veale (IRE) 50/1 D F O'Regan
11-12
A J Martin 9

PAST RESULTS
Year Horse Age/Wt Owner Trainer Jockey SP
2015 Faugheen 7-11-12 Susannah Ricci Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 1/6 Fav
2014 Jezki 6-11-12 J P McManus Jessica Harrington A P McCoy 4/5 Fav
2013 Hurricane Fly 9-11-12 George Creighton & Rose Boyd Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 1/4 Fav
2012 Hurricane Fly 8-11-12 George Creighton & Rose Boyd Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 4/11 Fav
2011 Hurricane Fly 7-11-12 George Creighton & Rose Boyd Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 1/2 Fav
2010 Hurricane Fly 6-11-12 George Creighton & Rose Boyd Willie Mullins Paul Townend 3/1
2009 Solwhit 5-11-12 Top Of The Hill Syndicate Charles Byrnes Davy Russell 2/1 Jt Fav
2008 Punjabi 5-11-12 Raymond Tooth Nicky Henderson GB Barry Geraghty 2/1
2007 Silent Oscar 8-11-12 Patrick Convery Harry Rogers Robbie Power 20/1
2006 Macs Joy 7-11-12 Mac’s J Racing Jessica Harrington Barry Geraghty 11/4
2005 Brave Inca 7-11-12 Novices Syndicate Colm Murphy A P McCoy 2/1
2004 Hardy Eustace 7-11-12 Lar Byrne Dessie Hughes Conor O’Dwyer 3/1
2003 Quazar 5-11-13 David Carr Jonjo O’Neill GB Tony Dobbin 7/2
2002 Davenport Milenium 6-11-12 Mrs Noel O’Callaghan Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 11/2
*2001 Moscow Flyer 7-12-00 Brian Kearney Jessica Harrington Barry Geraghty 6/1
2000 Grimes 7-11-09 J P McManus Christy Roche Charlie Swan 6/1
1999 Istabraq 7-12-00 J P McManus Aidan O’Brien Charlie Swan 1/4 Fav
1998-96 No race
1995 Fortune And Fame 8-11-08 Michael Smurfit Dermot Weld Richard Dunwoody 4/7 Fav
1994 Fortune And Fame 7-11-08 Michael Smurfit Dermot Weld Brendan Sheridan 4/9 Fav
1993 Camden Buzz 5-11-05 Carmel Byrne Paddy Mullins Charlie Swan Evs Fav
* Run at Leopardstown

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