Friday, April 23

Abacadabras just magic in Aintree Hurdle

Abacadabras made amends for crashing out at Cheltenham when taking Grade One honours in the Betway Aintree Hurdle at the Liverpool course.

The Denise Foster-trained seven-year-old exited at the third flight in the Champion Hurdle – but bounced back to strike in the hands of Jack Kennedy.

Abacadabras (5-1) had the loose Jason The Militant for company in the closing stages and kept on strongly to hold Buzz by a length and a quarter, with Millers Bank two and a quarter lengths in third and Buveur D’Air fourth.

The latter was leading when Jason The Militant, who unseated Rachael Blackmore after jumping the seventh flight, went across him at the second-last.

Kennedy said: “I got there way too soon on him, but the loose horse (Jason The Militant) really helped me keep him interested.

“Two and a half miles there, ridden patiently, it suited him great – and he jumped great.

“I’m delighted for the whole team back at home, Cullentra – they’re one of the best teams in racing and they work extremely hard, so it’s brilliant to reward them with winners like this.

“He jumps like a real hurdler – I suppose he might jump a fence as well.”

Reflecting on his earlier defeat on Tiger Roll, Kennedy added: “I was happy over the first two fences – and then I couldn’t go any faster after that.

“He was just really outclassed – but he’s home safe and sound, which is the main thing.”

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