Monday, February 15, 2010

War wins Battle of the Boyne

Attrition (noun) : constant wearing down to weaken or destroy

(Mourad pictured above, goes down by a head to War of Attrition.)

In the €50,000 Boyne Hurdle at Navan yesterday, a race where the average participants age was 7.5, the 11 year old veteran War of Attrition defied his younger pretenders and the sustained efforts of Ruby Walsh aboard Mourad to claim a second win over hurdles in three weeks. Under a protracted ride from David Casey, War of Attrition had a 2 length advantage jumping the last and the 2006 Gold Cup winner lived up to his name and prevailed by a head to 11-10 favourite, Mourad.

War of Attrition was giving Mourad half a stone in weight but he put his head down in real battling fashion and ground out a deserved victory from the son of Sinndar. It was 9 lengths back to last years Coral Cup winner, Ninetieth Minute who tailed off badly when his leg bandage unfurled after 4 out.

Winning the Galmoy Hurdle in Gowran last time out under similar front-running tactics, the switch back to hurdles has been a success for the Mouse Morris gelding. Renowned as a hardy staying chaser, who has had a long career break due to a prolonged foreleg tendon problem, War of Attritions last victory over hurdles before last months Galmoy Hurdle win came in December 2003 when he beat Mac's Joy, himself a former AIG Europe Champion Hurdle winner.

Sporting cheekpieces, yesterdays gamey victory has demonstrated he is back to full race fitness and the the Grand National is now being strongly considered for Mouse Morris' charge. He has been slashed from 33/1 into 16/1 for the race.

If he turns out for the Aintree showcase, he will then be retired to the rich pastures surrounding Ryaniar Chief, Michael O Leary's Gigginstown House in Delvin, Co. Westmeath.

A deserved fate for a hardy warrior.

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