Voler victorious in Christmas heat
A return to three miles was no problem for Voler La Vedette as she ran out a most impressive winner of Leopardstown's woodiesdiy.com Christmas Hurdle.
The seven-year-old had comprehensively beaten Mourad in the two-and-a-half-mile Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse earlier this month, but the latter was the odds-on favourite to turn the tables over this longer trip.
Ruby Walsh kicked for home first on the market leader, but Andrew Lynch cut a confident figure on the Colm Murphy-trained Voler La Vedette (13-8), who readily pulled clear of her main rival rounding the home bend. She then stayed on powerfully after jumping the last to score by four and three-quarter lengths.
Voler La Vedette is declared to run in Thursday's Istabraq Festival Hurdle over two miles, but is unlikely to take her chance.
Murphy said: "She was in great form and came out of her last race very well. She has loads of options, she could go back to two miles or have another three-mile race.
"She's in tomorrow but that's just an option in case something happened today. I would love to run her, but it probably wouldn't be the right thing to do. I had my heart set on the race tomorrow since the last day but after the ground dried up there was no decision.
"She's a different mare this year as she settles so well."
Lynch added: "She settled well today and settled well in her last two races. It was a truly run race. She travelled real well to the turn in and she picked up well."