Milan Mare Secures Back To Back Grade 1 Hurdles
Marie’s Rock (7m Milan - By The Hour, by Flemensfirth) produced another game performance to record back-to-back Grade 1 wins in the Coolmore Kew Gardens Irish EBF Mares’ Champion Hurdle at Punchestown.
Fresh from landing the British equivalent at Cheltenham, Nicky Henderson’s charge faced the likes of multiple Grade 1 winning stablemate Epatante on Saturday. Chasing the leaders under Nico de Boinville, she was ridden from two out and stayed on strongly to chase down the longtime leader, scoring by a length and a quarter one the line.
“She is hardy and she's found her feet this year in no uncertain terms,” Henderson said after the race. “She's got plenty of pace and she stays obviously. Put those two together, and a lot of ability, and you are in quite a strong place. I thought she was very good two years ago, where she got to last year I've no idea.”
Saturday marked a third win in the row for the Middleham Park Racing-owned mare, who has four black-type wins to her name. The daughter of Grange Stud sire Milan was bred by Daniel Breen out of the useful Flemensfirth mare By The Hour.