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Weld on target with Hisaabaat

Sat, 28 April 2012

Hisaabaat gained compensation for his defeat in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham as he outbattled his rivals in the AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle at Punchestown.

Dermot Weld's charge (4-1) was given a patient ride by Andrew Lynch as Unknown Rebel set out at quite a clip, stretching 25 lengths clear, with Darroun leading the chasing pack.

The leader was swallowed up before the last and Hisaabaat swept through along with Ut De Sivola, with the pair battling it out after the final flight. Weld's charge found plenty under pressure, though, and held on by half a length from Ut De Sivola, with Wingtips back in third.

Balder Succes was sent off the 9-4 favourite, but the Alan King-trained runner unshipped Robert Thornton at the first flight to the disappointment of punters.

Weld told At The Races: "He's a very consistent horse and he got a good ride from Andrew. He's a horse that's getting better with every run. He won his Grade One at Leopardstown earlier in the year, he ran a smashing race to be second in the Triumph Hurdle and won today, but has been very consistent in all his races.

"The visor makes him concentrate on tight tracks. He's just a very lazy, idle horse, but he's progressed well. He was idle (on the Flat) last year. He's really come alive this year as a four-year-old and I would say this horse has a lot of progress in him.

"I think Pat Smullen will be very insistent (about going back on the Flat). Whether we go back straight away, there's a handicap on Guineas weekend, or whether we wait until the autumn is undecided, but I think there's a big flat handicap in him. I would see him more in two years' time (for the Champion Hurdle)."

Lynch added: "I was probably there just a bit too soon and he ran around a bit up the straight, but in fairness he battled on well. It was a bit tight at one stage and David's jumped to the left (David Casey's mount Secret Edge at the second-last) but when my lad got a bit of room, he just took off.

"He has a big heart. He ran a blinder at Cheltenham when he finished second and I think the blinkers do make a big difference to him. He had them on in Leopardstown as well and they seemed to make a big difference.

"It's been unbelievable to ride just one or two Grade One winners, but to ride nine this season has just been fantastic."