Abbyssial back in business
Abbyssial ran his rivals into the ground with a brilliant all-the-way win in the AES Champion Four-Year-Old Hurdle at Punchestown.
The 15-2 chance had fallen on his latest start in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham, giving Ruby Walsh a broken arm, but Willie Mullins' charge made amends for that in superb fashion with the same jockey in the plate.
Abbyssial quickened up between the final two flights to get his rivals on the stretch and the race was all but over as they turned into the straight, with Plinth staying on for second place behind the six-and-a-half-length winner. Fox Norton finished third, with Triumph hero Tiger Roll a disappointing favourite.
Mullins said: "That was a fantastic performance. You just wonder what he would have done had he stood up at Cheltenham.
"I was very pleased with his final bit of work during the week. It was one of the best pieces of work he's ever done. I just thought the ground was getting a bit too dry for him.
"Ruby made full use of his stamina. He's a chaser for the future and we'll probably go that way next season. But before that I'd like to go to France for their version of the Triumph Hurdle."