Hisaabaat shows guts
Hisaabaat outbattled his rivals in the AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle on the final day of the Punchestown Festival.
Hisaabaat gained compensation for his defeat in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham as he outbattled his rivals in the AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle.
Dermot Weld's charge was beaten three lengths by Countrywide Flame at Prestbury Park and odds of 4-1 to go one place better looked generous in hindsight.
Kevin Ryan's Unknown Rebel set out at quite a clip under Brian Toomey and he was 25 lengths clear four flights from home with Darroun leading the chase in second.
Approaching two-out, he still had clear daylight between him and the chasing pack but they were beginning to reel in the early leader and Hisaabaat swooped through with purpose under Andrew Lynch.
Ut De Sivola went with him and the pair battled it out after the final flight, but Hisaabaat held on by half a length from Ut De Sivola with Wingtips back in third.
"He's a very consistent horse and he got a good ride from Andrew," Weld told At The Races.
"He's a horse that's getting better with every run. He won his Grade One at Leopardstown earlier in the year, he ran a smashing race to be second in the Triumph Hurdle and won today but has been very consistent in all his races.
"I think Pat Smullen will be very insistent (about going back on the Flat). Whether we go back straight away, there's a handicap on Guineas weekend, or whether we wait until the autumn is undecided but I think there's a big flat handicap in him.
"I would see him more in two years time (for the Champion Hurdle). I think next year will be pretty tough for him but he will progress, and keep getting better but my thoughts would be along two years' time."
Outlaw Pete was another enjoying his second run of the week and he made amends for unshipping his rider in Thursday's La Touche Cup as he landed the opening Irish Field Chase over the banks course.
Trainer by John Halley and ridden by his son Josh, he stayed on well under pressure from the final fence to defeat fellow La Touche also-ran Arabella Boy.
Halley snr said: "That makes up for Thursday. This is great that JP (McManus, owner) sent us the horse for Josh to ride.
"We thought Thursday was like our Gold Cup but this is more than a Gold Cup!"
Foildubh (9-2) could line up in the Kerry National later in the summer after his victory in the Guinness Handicap Chase.
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