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Voler snatches Strawberry spoils

Voler La Vedette showed tremendous courage to get back up close home and beat Blackstairmountain in the Keelings Irish Strawberry Hurdle at Fairyhouse.

Kept fresh by Colm Murphy, she sidestepped a clash with Quevega at Cheltenham and travelled sweetly to the front for Andrew Lynch with a quarter of a mile to run.

However, Ruby Walsh had tracked her every move on Blackstairmountain and a good leap at the last saw Willie Mullins' charge seemingly put the race to bed.

Unfortunately for his connections, the six-year-old pulled himself up in front - just as he had done at this meeting 12 months ago when reeled in by Luska Lad.

Murphy's 11-8 favourite ultimately won by a comfortable length and a half, with Oscar Dan Dan in third.

Murphy said: "She looked like she was going to do it really easy, but when she got there she thought she'd done enough. Luckily, Willie's horse went by us early enough that we could come back at him.

"I'm delighted with her, she's got plenty of class and I'd imagine we'll go to Punchestown. She's in the three-mile (ladbrokes.com World Series Hurdle) and the two-mile (Rabobank Champion Hurdle) but I imagine the three-mile looks the obvious one.

"She's hopefully in foal to Presenting, but she'll be scanned in the morning. If she's not in foal there is a possibility she could race on next year, but she's a valuable broodmare."

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