Solwhit Wins 2013 World Hurdle
Solwhit produced an excellent staying performance to claim victory in the World Hurdle on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival.
Solwhit was making his debut over three miles and was suited by the slow pace in the early stages of the race.
Bog Warrior finally injected some pace into the race with just over a mile left to run and quickly had second favourite Reve De Sivola under pressure while favourite Oscar Whisky was well out of contention.
Celestial Halo and Solwhit took the challenge to Bog Warrior and were tied together going to the last with Solwhit finishing the strongest to claim victory.
Solwhit spent most of the 2010/2011 jumps racing season in the shadow of 2013 Champion Hurdle winner Hurricane Fly and trainer Charles Byrnes was delighted that his horse would finally get his own day in the sun.
“It’s fantastic,” Byrnes said.
“A lot of work has gone into him, which makes it special.
“We knew he was coming back to himself and he’s just come right in the last couple of weeks.”
Jockey Paul Carberry gave Solwhit a perfect ride but was quick to pay tribute to Byrnes.
“His jumping was very good and it was a great training performance,” Carberry said.
“He travelled great the whole way but just got stopped a bit coming down the hill.
“Coming to the last he flicked his ears and I knew he had plenty left.”
After finishing runner-up to Hurricane Fly on three straight occasions in 2010 and 2011 Solwhit suffered a serious tendon injury after the 2011 Irish Champion Hurdle and was out of racing for almost two years.
The son of Solon returned on New Years Eve in Punchestown before winning the Grade 3 Limestone Lad Hurdle in January.
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