Istabraq back to winning ways


Istabraq won his fourth consecutive AIG Europe Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown today.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained nine-year-old had fallen for the first time in his career at the Dublin track on New Year's Eve but made no mistake this time.

He was held up in fourth place by regular jockey Charlie Swan as Have Merci set a steady pace from Aerleon Pete and Moscow Flyer and the 4-11 favourite was always travelling sweetly.

Moscow Flyer took up the running approaching the penultimate flight but took a crashing fall leaving Istabraq in front and it was then plain sailing for the three-time Champion Hurdle winner, who cruised home four and a half lengths clear of Mantles Prince. - PA