Solwhit (centre) on his way to winning in impressive fashion at NaasPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Solwhit claims victory in Limestone Lad Hurdle
Report: Naas, Saturday
Limestone Lad Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m3f, 5yo+
FOR the first time in nearly two and a half years Solwhit found himself in the winner's enclosure after recording a stylish victory on Saturday.
Solwhit had frequently found the dominant force of Hurricane Fly too good for him during 2010 and was kept off the course since January 2011 with a suspensory ligament injury.
He produced a strong performance to finish second on his comeback from 708 days off last month and was sent off the odds-on favourite to claim victory.
He was settled at the head of the chasing pack as Whatuthink bounded off into a sizable lead which he held until the third-last hurdle.
By this stage Solwhit had crept a lot closer under jockey Davy Russell and as Whatuthink weakened approaching the final flight it was all change up front.
Solwhit took the last in front, still travelling strongly, and he eased to victory after So Young made a mistake when ridden to challenge at the last.
Paddy Power cut Solwhit to 10-1 (from 18) for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. William Hill went 12-1 (from 20) with Boylesports 12-1 (from 25).
Winning trainer Charles Byrnes said: "It's good to have him back, but we've no real plans. He's entered in the World Hurdle, but could also go for the French Champion Hurdle as he'd be guaranteed soft ground.
"He was well in today so we might not get too carried away with it."