Gaelic Warrior (Maxios) Wins The Grade 1 Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle at Punchestown

Impressive Grade 1 Victory For Son Of Maxios

Gaelic Warrior (5g Maxios - Game Of Legs, by Hernando) added an impressive Grade 1 success to a terrific season when drawing clear to win the Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival.

Willie Mullins’ exciting French recruit was narrowly denied in the Grade 3 Martin Pipe Hurdle on his first start in the colours of Mrs Ricci and returned this season to win his first three starts by a combined 104 lengths.

Runner-up in the Grade 1 last time out, he stepped up to three miles for the first time on Wednesday and was sent off favourite under Paul Townend. Travelling strongly throughout, the bay’s success briefly looked in doubt when caught behind horses turning for home, but showed his class when a gap appeared. Leading approaching the final flight, he drew clear on the run-in to score by ten lengths.

“The trip was a big help to him,” the winning trainer later said. “He has the option of going chasing but we'll have a good look at staying over hurdles. I'd say he has Stayers' Hurdle written all over him, but we'll get him home and have a think about it.”

Gaelic Warrior was bred by the Niarchos family, who also bred and raced his sire Maxios to win two Group 1’s. The promise shown by Maxios’s early crops saw him join the Castlehyde Stud roster in 2020, a move which was rewarded the following year when Quilixios (Maxios) won the Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle and Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle.