Cheltenham Festival: Bryan Cooper says Our Conor could be rival to Hurricane Fly
A buoyant Bryan Cooper believes the unbeaten Our Conor could be a serious rival to Stan James Champion Hurdle winner Hurricane Fly, writes Jonathan Herbert.
The 20-year-old waved his whip with delight as he passed the winning post well clear aboard Our Conor in the JCB Triumph Hurdle for his second success of this year’s Festival.
Rated one of Ireland top chances before the meeting, Our Conor (4-1) was one of the best winners of the race for years as he retained his unbeaten record with a sensational performance.
Our Conor, reputedly the only horse his trainer Dessie Hughes compares with his two-time Champion Hurdle winner Hardy Eustace, looked the most likely winner from some way out as he travelled powerfully behind the pacesetting Diakali, who had beaten last time out.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
Cooper eased Our Conor to the front coming around the home turn and, with the jockey looking behind him for rivals, he pulled clear to win hard held by 15 lengths.
“This horse has got so much class, he’s got everything,” said Cooper. “The rain has got into the ground and I think that suited this lad. I’ve never had a feeling like it. It’s unbelievable.
“He could give Hurricane Fly a run for his money next season, you never know.”
Hughes will give Our Conor the chance to confirm his growing reputation at the Punchestown Festival next month, before being given a break.
He will then aim the gelding at the Champion Hurdle at next year’s Festival, where as well as Hurricane Fly he might also clash with Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle winner The New One.
“He’s a fabulous horse,” said Hughes. “He’s good, he jumps and he stays. He’s only four and he’s getting better all the time.
“He never came off the bridle and it was great to watch. We knew he had improved but to win like that is just fantastic.”
Top Flat jockey Richard Hughes, son of the winning trainer, was highly impressed with the youngster, who was given a 5-1 quote for the 2013 Champion Hurdle.
“For a four-year-old to win like that, he must be extra special,” he said. “You don’t get four-year-olds winning like that, because they’re very young, but he must be way ahead of his time.”