Walsh has high hopes for Hurricane Fly

Walsh has high hopes for Hurricane Fly

Ruby Walsh would love Hurricane Fly to show his true colours again in the Stan James Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham next week.

The nine-year-old has won each of his three starts this term but has faced small fields on each occasion, including when winning the Irish Champion Hurdle last time.

Walsh does not feel the 14-time Grade One winner gets the credit he deserves, having missed a few Festivals through injury before being beaten in his title defence last year.

“Last year didn’t go to plan, but the whole season didn’t,” Walsh told At The Races

“He’s a really good horse but has only shown his true colours in the UK once. He’s bidding for a place in history and I’d love him to show them again.

“There’s nothing about Cheltenham that doesn’t suit him, it was just circumstances last year. It was a difficult year for him and he’s in a much better place this year.

“You can only beat what is put in front of you. There’s different things horses do that impress you.

“At Punchestown he was still in front, whether he’d have beat Go Native or not is irrelevant but that was a sprint.

“Thousand Stars went a really good gallop in the Irish Champion Hurdle and the power he showed turning in left Binocular standing still. They are different things you look at and he has won unextended (on) his last couple of starts.

“It won’t be that straightforward in the Champion Hurdle but he’s a cracking little horse. He has pace, he has stamina, he’s slick and he has what you need.

“He’s more relaxed these days and Willie (Mullins) can do exactly what he wants when he’s training him.

“Of course I’d be disappointed if he didn’t win.

“There’s four championship races and I have good rides in two of them and when you’ve been as fortunate as I have there, you’d be disappointed if you don’t win one of them.”

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