Champagne effort from Fever
Champagne Fever bounced back to winning ways with a gutsy front-running performance in the Grade 1 Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown.
Last season's Champion Bumper winner had been beaten on his last two runs over timber but showed plenty of bravery in holding off the challenge of Bright New Dawn on the run to the line.
Paul Townend went out to set a decent pace on the grey, who jumped nicely after a clumsy leap at the first, with his task made much easier when second-favourite Waaheb dived at the second flight and sent jockey Mark Walsh to the turf.
Willie Mullins' charge continued to lead the field a merry dance to the second-last where a challenger emerged in the form of the eventual runner-up, who appeared to be travelling slightly the better under Davy Russell.
But Champagne Fever (2/1 favourite) was not for passing and found plenty on the run to the line to score by a length-and-a half with outsider Wingtips plugging on for a distant third place.
Sky Bet make Champagne Fever 10 from 12 for the Neptune and 16/1 from 20s for the Supreme.
Hello, regular commenting on Orange News and Sport pages closes on Thursday 30 May 2013. We will continue to provide a commenting facility on major news and sport events on orangeworld.co.uk. Contact us via http://oran.ge/OWfeedback if you have any further questions. Thanks.