Solwhit wins the World Hurdle under Paul Carberry
Ireland took the Ladbrokes World Hurdle for the first time since 1995 as 17/2 chance Solwhit scored under Paul Carberry.
Last Updated: 14/03/13 5:59pm
The nine-year-old was out of action for almost two years while connections waited for a leg injury to come right, but he had produced two solid efforts since his return in December.
The question-mark was whether Solwhit's stamina would last out moved up to three miles, but the 17/2 winner answered that doubt emphatically as he stretched ahead up the run-in to beat Celestial Halo (40/1), whose chance was compromised by an untidy jump at the final flight.
Smad Place (9/1), third to Big Buck's in the race 12 months ago, filled the same placing under Wayne Hutchinson.
"He had a bit of heat in a leg and it was very minor, but he needed time," said trainer Charles Byrnes, whose charge was a multiple Grade One winner and a regular foe for Hurricane Fly before his injury. "We tried to bring him back last year but he wasn't ready and we didn't rush it. But he proved today that he hasn't lost it.
"That's seven grade ones he has won now but it would have been more but for Hurricane Fly!
"I wanted Davy [Russell] to ride, but when I couldn't get Davy I was happy to get Paul - he was the ideal jockey.
"We knew he was coming back. We knew in the last couple of weeks, we could just feel that he was on the way back."