RACING POST MONDAY JANUARY 30th 2012
RACING POST WEEK MONDAY JANUARY 30th 2012 TO SUNDAY FEBRUARY 5th 2012
TODAY'S CARDS Plumpton. Ayr. Wolverhampton.
HURRICANE FLY, SCORES AT LEOPARDSTOWN EIRE YESTERDAY
FOR THE WILLIE MULLINS TEAM
TONY O'HEHIR brings us exciting news from Leopardstown as the FLY lights up gloom in the 2.30 BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) (2m) (8 Hurdles) with a majestic display, winning by six and a half lengths from OSCARS WELL, yet another clue toward the British Champion Hurdle to be run in March at the Cheltenham Festival, handled and presented by GAIL CARLISLE for the Willie Mullins Team.
5 ran, tracked leaders in 3rd, smooth headway to challenge after 2 out, led early straight and soon asserted, stretched clear run-in, easily.
Shades of PERSIAN WAR ....? Shades of ISTABRAQ ......?
PERSIAN WAR 1963 -19
by Tony Ward
PERSIAN WAR "Broken teeth, knocked unconscious, severe illness, fractured femur, leg injury, endless campaigns, inconsiderate owner - the courageous story of Persian War - winner of three Champion Hurdles.
"Persian War, by
Persian Gulf out of the Chanteur II mare, Warning, started his racing life on the flat. He was trained by Dick Hern and carried the colours of his breeder Jakie Astor in his first two seasons, when he won two small staying races in the autumn of his three year old days.
The old horse's last race that season was the Scottish Champion Hurdle, where he was unplaced and clearly on the downgrade. Any caring owner would surely retired him at that point. But Alper changed his home again, sending him to Dennis Rayson's little yard at Exning, outside
. It was for Rayson, that we won his last and 18th race, the Latecomers Hurdle at Newmarket in June 1972 a race worth £374. It was heartbreaking to see the old champion reduced to beating nonentities. His last race was back at Stratford Cheltenham when he finished second last in the Broadway Hurdle in January.
The crunch with Rayson came shortly afterwards. Alper hit on the bright idea of schooling the old horse over fences. Rayson refused and Persian War was sent to Jack Gibson near
Cheltenham. Mercifully, perhaps, Persian War hurt a leg shortly afterwards, not seriously, but enough to keep him out of training for the rest of that season. He did come back enough to go back into work and was even being prepared for another tilt at the Festival, the being the nominated race, but bruised a leg on the eve of it and at last Alper announced the champions retirement. County Hurdle
"Eventually, Alper was talked out of such plans and Persian War went to his final home, with former Royal jockey Harry Carr at the Genesis Green Stud at Wickham Brook, just outside
. He lived there for ten happy and at last, dignified years. Finally his old legs began to go and he found it difficult to get up and down. He was peacefully put down before the winter began. Newmarket
In his seven year jumping career he had no fewer than six trainers. He was the ultimate champion and had he been in the ownership of a more knowledgeable racing man, could have achieved even greater heights.
ISTABRAQ 2010 - trained by Aiden O'Brien Team.
Watch the give and take of CHARLIE SWAN partnering ISTABRAQ riding this horse on the bridle circling at the start. The balance, the timing the in tune partnership between horse and rider can be seen here at its brilliant best. Like an elastic thread kept at just the right tension between horse and rider, not dictated by any regulators.