Teahupoo downs Impaire Et Passe to defend Hatton’s Grace title

Teahupoo proved too game for hot favourite Impaire Et Passe as he completed back-to-back wins in the Bar One Racing Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse.

Gordon Elliott’s charge ended the long unbeaten run of Honeysuckle in the Grade One contest last year and this time it was Willie Mullins’ Impaire Et Passe who had his bubble burst.

Sent off the 4/5 favourite, Impaire Et Passe was looking to pick up where he left off last term with top-level successes at both the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals and he appeared to be travelling supremely well as they turned for home.

Pacemaker Zanahiyr dropped out in the straight, leaving Paul Townend to go for home on the market leader – but Teahupoo had other ideas.

The pair were neck and neck on the approach to the final flight but it was Teahupoo who kept finding for pressure on the run to the line, with Jack Kennedy’s mount registering a length success at odds of 85/40.

Teahupoo finished a close third in the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham last term and Betfair go 4/1 from 6s about him for that race, while Impaire Et Passe is out to 8/1 from 11/2 for the Champion Hurdle following the first defeat of his career.

Elliott said: “We knew he was in good nick but obviously Willie’s horse was going to be hard to beat over two and a half miles and we know our lad wants three.

“Jack gave him a wonderful ride and was very clever on him, squeezed him along and said he was going to have one go at him between the last two.

“The horse has got a lot stronger. He’s only a young horse and didn’t do much wrong last year.

“We are going to do things a bit different this year and the plan is to go straight for the Stayers’ Hurdle now.

“We might have knocked the edge off him in Gowran last year.”

Source : Sky Sports