Walsh: Fly form not strong

Jockey questions form of Leopardstown win

Last Updated: 30/01/12 1:08pm

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Ruby Walsh has questioned the form of Hurricane Fly's win in the Irish Champion Hurdle.

Jockey Walsh was pleased with the performance of Willie Mullins' eight-year-old, but felt one or two of his beaten rivals failed to show their best form.

He said: "He was very impressive, he settled beautifully and jumped really well in a true-run race.

"It was a good jump at the second-last. He jumped past Oscars Well, joined Thousand Stars, and he came came alive and the race was over.

"It's good to see him back. It was a great performance.

"I probably was surprised (he won by that far). I don't think Thousand Stars ran as good as he can run.

"They went a really good gallop and Paul (Townend) gave him a breather down the back but he just didn't quicken again, which is unlike him.

"Obviously Unaccompanied didn't fire, she ran considerably worse than she did at Christmas, and Oscars Well has run a really good race.

"You'd hope (there's a lot left)."

Walsh admits this year's Stan James Champion Hurdle is a hard race to assess, though, with many of last year's rivals having switched to chasing.

"It's hard to know (how strong this year's race will be)," he told At The Races.

"There's no Peddlers Cross, it's up in the air what they will do with Oscar Whisky, Thousand Stars was third, while Sprinter Sacre and Menorah have gone chasing.

"Zarkandar runs in less than a fortnight and the horses behind him are pitching at it.

"There's quite a bit to go yet."

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