Andy Dufresne returns to winning ways in the Moscow Flyer Novices’ Hurdle at Punchestown
- Andy Dufresne won the Punchestown Moscow Flyer Novices’ Hurdle on Sunday
- The six-year-old saw Captain Guinness into second by three-quarters of a length
- The highly-rated star suffered a shock loss in last month’s Navan Novice Hurdle
- Gordon Elliott trains the 12-1 shot for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on March 10
Highly-rated Andy Dufresne is 12-1 for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle after returning to winning ways in the Moscow Flyer Novices’ Hurdle at Punchestown.
The Gordon Elliott-trained six-year-old had to dig deep under jockey Mark Walsh to peg back free-running second-placed Captain Guiness but was asserting at the line to win by three-quarters of a length.
The duo pulled 15 lengths clear of third Anything Will Do.
Andy Dufresne returned to form by winning the Moscow Flyer Novices’ Hurdle at Punchestown
The six-year-old had a shock loss to Latest Exhibition in the Navan Novices’ Hurdle last month
Andy Dufresne lost his unbeaten record with defeat to Latest Exhibition in the Navan Novices’ Hurdle last month over two-and-a half miles.
But dropping back to two miles, he won a race sealed in recent years by three subsequent Cheltenham Festival scorers – Douvan (2015 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle), Vautour (2014 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle) and Mikael D’Haguenet (20089 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle).
Ae expected, Elliott has a strong novice hurdle hand. He will leave his options open but with his No 1 contender, the unbeaten Envoi Allen, looking to be on course for the 2m 5f Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, the two-mile Supreme would look the likely destination for Andy Dufresne, who cost owner JP MacManus £330,000.
Trainer Gordon Elliott praised the performance of his charge across two miles as ‘more like it’
Elliott said: ‘He got beat by a good horse of Paul Nolan’s the last day in Navan, where he probably outstayed us, but that was more like it.
‘Mark said the inside track was tight enough for him here over two miles. He took a bit of organising around the last bend, but when he straightened up he jumped the last well.’
‘He galloped to the line and has won over two and a half. I’m not sure what the plans are. I still don’t think two and half is a problem to him – he stays well. The way he moves he’ll probably be better on better ground.’
Lingfield have called an 8am inspection. The going is heavy and storms are forecast to hit Britain.