Willie Mullins saw more success today at the Dublin Racing Festival in Leopardstown, with State Man taking the Irish Champion Hurdle ahead of the Rachel Blackmore ridden Honeysuckle.
State Man, ridden by Paul Townend, lead for the entire race and was comfortably ahead of the chasing pack at the finish line.
With the win, his odds have been shortened for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham next month.
“Paul surprised me when he came into the parade ring and I asked him what he was going to do and he said he was going to make it," said trainer Mullins.
“He didn’t see much to make it in the race so I said ‘OK, do that’. It worked out, the horse is not used to being in front, but he jumped well enough in front and Paul thought he was a bit idle in front as well.
“He did everything right and you couldn’t ask any more.
A lot of people forget that he won the County Hurdle and you don’t win that with sloppy jumping.
In Punchestown it might have been a slow race and when it was slow he just took his time.
When he has to be sharp he’s well able to jump very quickly. He jumped like a Champion Hurdler, I thought, all the way down the back.
Paul asked some big questions and he came up every time. I was very happy.
State Man Beats Out Three-Time Winner Honeysuckle In Irish Champion Hurdle
State Man (6-5F) hammers his rivals in the Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown, with three-time winner Honeysuckle filling the runner-up berth. #DublinRacingFestival pic.twitter.com/d7l2Zn12Oi
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