Hisaabaat rallies to land Champion 4YO Hurdle
Report: Punchestown, Saturday
AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m, 4yo only
JCB Triumph Hurdlle runner-up Hisaabaat thrust his head back in front of Ut De Sivola after being headed after the last to claim the win for trainer Dermot Weld.
The Kevin Ryan-trained Unknown Rebel went off into the lead while fellow British raider Balder Succes lost his jockey Robert Thornton after making a mistake early in the race.
Jumping the penultimate flight Unknown Rebel had been gobbled up by the field with Hisaabaat the narrow leader.
He jumped the last in front but was passed by Ruby Walsh on Ut De Sivola. However, Hisaabaat showed he has battling qualities as he stuck his head back up on the inside under a strong ride from Andrew Lynch to land the spoils by half a length at 4-1.
Weld said: "He has been a very consistent and tough horse and he got a lovely ride from Andrew there. He ran a smashing race at Cheltenham and the two miles and half a furlong there was my worry but he got it. He could be a Champion Hurdle horse but I'm not saying next year, probably in two years time.
"He was my only runner this week and it's nice to win the Grade 1 - one runner, one winner. There's a big ten furlong Flat handicap in him."