Racing: Easy winner Istabraq 6-1 for Champion

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The Independent Online
Istrabraq is a top-priced 6-1 favourite with Coral for next March's Champion Hurdle after winning the Grade One Avonmore Waterford Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse yesterday. Irish firm Paddy Power offered 11- 2 while William Hill and Ladbrokes went 5-1.

Setting out to make all the running, Charlie Swan quickened the tempo from four out and Istabraq, the 1-3 favourite, held Cockney Lad by two lengths. Swan said: "I couldn't have been happier with him - the faster the gallop the better he jumps."

O'Brien, who confirmed that the Festival Hurdle at Leopardstown's Christmas fixture was next on Istabraq's agenda, commented: "He gets a lead all the time when working at home but there didn't seem to be much choice except to make it here. He likes it soft and two and a half miles was ideal."

Feathered Leader shot to the top of the novice hurdling ranks when taking the pounds 25,000 Avonmore Waterford Royal Bond Novices' Hurdle.

Always travelling strongly in the hands of Conor O'Dwyer, the 11-2 chance was switched two out to challenge Promalee and Cloone Bridge. A fine jump at the last sealed the issue in favour of O'Dwyer's mount, who was good value for the four-length winning margin over the Richard Dunwoody-ridden Promalee.

Trainer Arthur Moore said: "He will run next at Leopardstown after Christmas." Moore reported stable star Klairon Davis on target for Saturday's Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.

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