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Teahupoo set for Champion Hurdle bid after Gowran success

Teahupoo’s Champion Hurdle odds were slashed after he cantered home a clear-cut winner of the Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran Park.

The Gordon Elliott-trained five-year-old was cut to 8-1 from 20s by Betfair for next month’s Cheltenham Festival feature after putting his six rivals to the sword in the Grade Three heat.

Teahupoo was sent off the 13-8 favourite in the hands of Robbie Power, having accounted for the reopposing Quilixios in winning both his starts so far this season, and the Masked Marvel gelding travelled supremely well throughout the two-mile contest.

Fellow Elliott inmate Felix Desjy set out to make all, with Saldier briefly taking a turn on the front, but turning for home it was clear that Power’s mount held all the aces.

He stretched clear when given the signal and merely had to be kept up to his work to see off the staying-on Darasso by 11 lengths, with Quilixios a further 11 lengths back in third.

Elliott said: “I thought he did it well. It was a good performance.

“Robbie said he hated the ground but he picked up on a bit better ground in the straight. He probably got there plenty soon but he had to go the way the race worked out.

“We said we’d come here today and see exactly where we were. Thankfully it’s worked out and we can think about the Champion Hurdle now. We can dream for another few weeks!

“He’s a very deceiving horse as he doesn’t do much at home. He’s very laidback but I’d say he’s not a bad horse.”

Power was notching his first winner since returning from a tendon injury he sustained in October.

The rider said: “It’s been a long road back, but he’s the sort of horse that you want to come back for.

“I won on him twice as a juvenile and when Jack (Kennedy) won on him this season, he said he was a lot stronger.”

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