Rejuvenated Bog Warrior wins well again
Report: Punchestown, Monday
Follow Punchestown On Facebook Hurdle, 2m 4f, 4yo+
BOG WARRIOR made it two wins from two starts back over hurdles as he relished the testing conditions at Punchestown.
Solwhit, back from 708 days out of action, ran a blinder to finish second, but the fitness edge of his rival proved to be the telling point in the closing stages of the race.
This time last year Bog Warrior had looked to be set for the very top over fences but after a couple of mishaps connections have reverted him back to hurdles and the rejuvenated character has proved to be a tough nut to crack when encountering his favoured going.
He was well supported here, backed into 11-8 favourite, and it was clear to see why as he galloped clear down the rain-soaked straight.
Belle Brook and Simenon cut out the early running with Bog Warrior always tracking the pair under Davy Russell. Andrew Lynch was happy to take his time on the returning Solwhit, who only started to get closer as they raced out of the back straight.
The former winner of the Irish Champion Hurdle had momentarily looked like he was going to battle it out as they straightened up but his exertions had taken their toll and Lynch was happy to settle for second on this comeback run.
Paddy Power introduced Bog Warrior into their betting for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at 12-1 but winning trainer Tony Martin is unsure as to what his future holds.
"He's a very good horse," he said. "Whether he goes back over fences or stays over hurdles it is all in the balance but after that performance he will be able to go for something nice."
Charles Byrnes said of Solwhit's run: "I am well pleased with that. I will probably enter him for the Irish Champion Hurdle but I doubt he'll run."