Hurricane Fly heads Morgiana entries

Hurricane Fly Leads Morgiana Hurdle Entries

Champion hurdler Hurricane Fly leads the entries for the Grade 1 Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown on November 20th next.

The Willie Mullins trained superstar who landed both the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham and the Rabobank Champion Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival last spring is set to make his seasonal debut in the feature of the two day Winter Festival (19th and 20th November) . Hurricane Fly’s stable mates So Young and Thousand Stars also feature among the nine entries.

Hayley O’Connor of Ladbrokes said: “The public’s fascination with Hurricane Fly is totally justified and we expect he’ll be massively supported on his seasonal debut in the Morgiana Hurdle. He sets the standard and a very high one at that, and although he ranks as one of our all time biggest losers at Cheltenham, it is impossible not to get excited about his reappearance at Punchestown.”

Another prominent contender comes in the form of the Jessica Harrington trained Oscars Well who won his maiden at the corresponding fixture last year. Oscars Well then went on to land two grade 1’s before heading to Cheltenham where a last hurdle error potentially cost him the Neptune Investment Novices Hurdle.

Charles Byrnes who has won the Morgiana hurdle for the last two years with Solwhit is this year represented by Pittoni. “The race has come up a bit too soon for Solwhit but we will let Pittoni take his chance based on his run in Navan last month”.

Of the nine entries in the Morgiana Hurdle three are fillies with last year’s runner up Voler La Vedette being joined by Michael Bowe’s Akatara and the Dermot Weld trained Unaccompanied.

Canaly from the Des Hughes’ stable will need good ground to return to winning ways. His trainer said “Canaly’s first run back this season was on heavy ground at Naas and he didn’t handle it. All three of his wins were on good ground last spring so, although unlikely we will get it, good ground is what we are looking for”.

Labrokes who are new title sponsors of the Winter Festival on the 19th and 20th November have issued the following prices for the race: Morgiana Hurdle, 2m, Punchestown, 20 November 2011

2/5 Hurricane Fly,

4 Thousand Stars,

5 Pittoni,

6 Oscars Well,

8 So Young,

8 Voler La Vedette,

10 Unaccompanied,

16 Canaly,

50 Aktara

(EW 1/5 odds 1,2,3)

The Winter Festival takes place on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November. The event features the Grade 1 Morgiana Hurdle, the Grade 2 Bet In Running Craddockstown and the Ladbrokes Casino Florida Pearl Novice Chases.


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