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Last Updated: 02/12/12 3:35pm
Zaidpour (r): Won the Hatton's Grace Hurdle
Zaidpour prevailed in a tactical renewal of the Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse.
The six year old was backed into joint-favouritism and didn't disappoint his supporters in the Grade One contest as he ran on strongly to claim the spoils from Monksland and joint market leader Voler La Vedette.
The latter had disappointed on her seasonal reappearance and there was little confidence in Colm Murphy's mare who was held-up at the rear of the field as the winner's stablemate, So Young, took them along at what appeared to be a stop-start gallop.
Andrew Lynch made his move on the outside approaching the home turn with Zaidpour and Ruby Walsh stuck on the inside behind the front-runner.
Once out in the open, however, Zaidpour readily picked up the mare to put the race to bed in a matter of strides and claim his second Grade One success for Willie Mullins with his first coming on this card in 2010.
He was chased home by Monksland who ran a promising race on his first top tier run in open company but, having been held up in rear, Noel Meade's charge lacked the change of gear to go with the principals when the tempo changed but the five year old was doing all of his best work in the closing stages.
The son of Red Ransom was given a quote of 20-1 for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle by Sky Bet and a clash with Big Buck's could be in the offing at Cheltenham in March.
Mullins said: "I think he's improved so we'll go along those lines (Ladbrokes World Hurdle). I doubt he'll take on Hurricane Fly next but he'll be entered in all those races. He has enough speed for two miles, but he has plenty of stamina, too."
Mullins added: "It was a fantastic result and he's stronger this year. He's good enough to run in a Champion Hurdle but the obvious thing would be to go over a longer trip.
"I have to give a lot of credit to Virginie who rides him out all the time. She does a lot of slow work on him and keeps him right as he had shoulder trouble when we got him."