Aspire Tower too good for rivals in WKD Hurdle

Rachael Blackmore celebrates on Honeysuckle at Fairyhouse
Image: Rachael Blackmore - won on Aspire Tower

Aspire Tower proved too strong for fellow Cheltenham Festival runner-up Abacadabras in the WKD Hurdle at Down Royal.

The Gordon Elliott-trained Abacadabras was the 8-15 favourite for the Grade Two feature - making his first competitive appearance since being beaten a head by Shishkin in a thrilling renewal of the Supreme Novices' Hurdle in March.

Henry de Bromhead's Aspire Tower, last seen finishing behind Burning Victory in the Triumph Hurdle, was in receipt of 6lb from the market leader and was a 3-1 chance in the hands of Rachael Blackmore.

Sent straight to the lead, Aspire Tower jumped well in the main and was followed into the home straight by his stablemate Jason The Militant and Abacadabras, with the trio well clear of the remainder.

Abacadabras looked to be travelling best between the final two flights, but Aspire Tower refused to bend and was going away again at the finish - coming home with four and a half lengths in hand over Abacadabras, who pipped Jason The Militant to second.

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Paddy Power cut Aspire Tower to 14-1 from 50-1 for the Champion Hurdle next March, with Abacadabras pushed out to 8-1 from 5-1.

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