Weld Springs to it

Hisaabaat opened his account over jumps with a smooth win in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Hisaabaat opened his account over jumps with a smooth win in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Second in his previous three starts, Dermot Weld’s charge was galvanised by first-time blinkers to take this Grade One contest.

Leading after jumping the final flight, Hisaabaat (15-2), ridden by Andrew Lynch, pulled away from the Gordon Elliott-trained Shadow Catcher, who had made a mess of that obstacle, to score by a length and a half with John Quinn’s Countrywide Flame third.

Weld said: ``He's been very consistent and got a lovely ride from Andrew.

“We won this race last year with Unaccompanied and the logical move would be to have a crack at the Triumph Hurdle with him.

“He’s taken a little time to get his act together but he schooled well the other morning and got a lovely ride.

“He had to win today to be considered for (Cheltenham) and he has done it well.”

Hisaabaat was cut to 16-1 from 33s for the JCB-sponsored Triumph Hurdle with Stan James, while Paddy Power went 14-1 from 25-1.

Weld added: “Hisaabaat is Hisaabaat. When things go right for him, he’s very good. He’s getting the hang of things and the visor helped him to concentrate.

“He possibly would have won the Grade Three at Punchestown but for a mistake at the last, he’s getting the hang of it now.

“Andrew said if he had another chance to ride him the last day here he would have waited with him for a lot longer and that’s what he did today and it worked. That’s why Andrew is riding so many Grade One winners!

“He will go straight to the Triumph Hurdle and you never know, he comes off a strong pace and he battles so it might just be the making of him.”

Of Unaccompanied, Weld said: “Unaccompanied will not be going to Cheltenham, there are a few races on the Flat for her at the Curragh and in France and then she’ll come back for the Grade One at Punchestown.”

Stan James’ spokesman Joseph Burke said: “Willie Mullins was the last Irish trainer to win the Triumph Hurdle with Scolardy in 2002, but Dermot Weld went close last year when Unaccompanied ran second and he again looks to have the leading Irish hope for this season.”

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