Bapaume gains revenge on Landofhopeandglory at Leopardstown
Bapaume claimed the scalp of Landofhopeandglory in the Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown.
Landofhopeandglory headed the Triumph Hurdle market after winning his first three over timber, most recently defeating Bapaume in a Fairyhouse Grade Three.
Bapaume was having his first start for Willie Mullins that day, though, and has obviously come on for the run.
He and Landofhopeandglory jumped up either side of leader Zig Zag at the second-last and settled down to fight it out, but the 13-8 favourite found more reserves of stamina and scored by a length and three-quarters , with Mega Fortune only narrowly failing to catch Landofhopeandglory for second.
Boylesports cut Bapaume to 8-1 from 12-1 for the Triumph Hurdle and eased Landofhopeandglory to 10-1 from 6-1.
RaceBets went 7-1 (from 12-1) for the Cheltenham feature in March, and jockey Ruby Walsh said: "We thought our horse had improved a little bit for his first run for us at Fairyhouse.
"It was pretty similar to Fairyhouse, I went pretty much the same speed myself today and I ignored Zig Zag in front. I rode my own race and he's a tough horse. He jumped well, stays well and he's improving.
"It was a good race and it's great to win it. He's a sharp looking horse, so who knows how much more he can improve?"
Mullins said: "He improved from the last day, as I hoped he might. He jumps and gallops and gets the job done.
"We were probably lucky enough getting the run on the inside coming around the last bend. I said to myself going into the second-last 'Ruby's in a pocket here' and then it just opened up a little bit after the second-last.
"He took his chance and just kept him balanced and got a good jump at the last.
"He wouldn't excite you at home but he gallops which is what you need in these (juvenile) races.
"He will probably come back here for the Grade One race in February (Spring Juvenile Hurdle)."