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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 March 2007, 15:30 GMT
Sublimity claims Champion Hurdle
Philip Carberry on Sublimity
Sublimity was beaten by Straw Bear at Cheltenham last year
Sublimity claimed a surprise victory in the Champion Hurdle after holding off fellow Irish challengers Brave Inca and Hardy Eustace.

Philip Carberry's mount powered over the last hurdle to streak clear of reigning champion hurdler Brave Inca, with Afsoun finishing well in third.

Hardy Eustace made the early running but faded after the final jump.

Favourite Detroit City struggled throughout and was never in contention, finishing well back.

Carberry was always travelling well just in behind the front two and when he asked his mount to quicken, Sublimity shot up the final incline to win by three lengths with Afsoun a further neck away.


Sublimity was settled in last place throughout the early stages, but moved menacingly into contention under a confident ride as the runners descended towards three from home.

Iktitaf was also still in contention at that obstacle only to take a crashing fall.

Hardy Eustace and Brave Inca were moving powerfully, but both were hard under pressure as the front three turned for home.

Detroit City was off the bit as early as the second flight, but seemed to have fought his way into the race halfway down the back straight.

But he dropped tamely off the principals coming down the hill as Carberry went on to claim the biggest race win of his career and joined siblings Paul and Nina in the record books having won a race at the showpiece meeting.

I didn't know if he would win as I have never had a Champion Hurdle horse, but I wouldn't mind a few more like him
Trainer John Carr

"I couldn't believe how well he was travelling going down to the last," he said. "What a horse, he is the best horse I've ever ridden or ever likely to.

"He's beaten some fantastic horses in the shape of Brave Inca and Hardy Eustace, but he has beaten them on merit.

"I have been very lucky to ride him from day one. He is a very good horse and he has proved it today."

The win was a dream come true for owner Bill Hennessy.

"I'm speechless - I'm going to pinch myself to make sure it's real! What a dream - it's fantastic," he said.

"We wanted to buy decent horses off the Flat and this one was with Sir Michael Stoute.

"He won a Listed race on the Flat for us and we knew he was a serious horse."

Smurfit Champion Hurdle (2m f)
1. Sublimity (Philip Carberry) 16-1
2. Brave Inca (R Walsh) 11-2
3. Afsoun (Mick FitzGerald) 28-1
10 ran. Dist: 3, nk

As it happened: Cheltenham day one
13 Mar 07 |  Horse Racing
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