Fairyhouse: Colonel takes command to give Hughes Grade 1 win

Lieutenant-colonel

Lieutenant Colonel beating his two rivals in the Hatton’s Grace

  PICTURE: Alain Barr (racingpost.com/photos)  

Report: Fairyhouse, Sunday

Bar One Racing Hatton’s Grace Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m4f, 4yo+

LIEUTENANT COLONEL got the better of Jetson in a thrilling finish to a Hatton’s Grace which lost its favourite with most of a circuit still to go when Zaidpour fell.

It was a first Grade 1 winner for Sandra Hughes, daughter of the great Irish jockey and trainer Dessie Hughes, who died aged 71 earlier this month.

Lieutenant Colonel was installed by Paddy Power a 25-1 chance for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, scene of so many of Dessie Hughes’ triumphs.

In the end, the winner only had to beat two home. The Hatton’s Grace had lost its star act Annie Power two days ago when she was found to be lame and the remaining five were reduced to three when Zaidpour fell and brought down outsider King Of The Picts.

That left Little King Robin bowling along out in front with the eventual one-two some lengths back. They caught up with the front-runner in good time and easily over-hauled her, before Lieutenant Colonel got the better of his remaining rival on the run-in.

Hughes said: “We thought he’d run well and it was always dad’s intention to stay over hurdles with him this season.

“We are delighted with him and that is for dad – it was well deserved for him.”

On her new role, Hughes added: “It is a lot of pressure but I am enjoying it, It’s in my blood!”

Winning jockey Bryan Cooper said: “I was pretty confident coming here but I saw Ruby go through the wings and I thought he might bring me down.

“We’ll go back to the drawing board now and in time he could be a World Hurdle horse.”

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