Hidden Cyclone strikes for Hanlon at Punchestown
Shark Hanlon’s evergreen 11-year-old was not for catching as he saw off the opposition in determined fashion.
Danny Mullins let him bowl along in front and he soon poached a 12-length lead.
Rashaan and The Game Changer closed in menacingly after three out, but Hidden Cyclone (7-2) pulled away again to beat the former by two-and-a-quarter lengths.
Bentelimar was sent off the 2-1 favourite but could never get competitive and was struggling in the rear for most of the race.
Hanlon said: “He’s unreal. He’s a horse that never lets me down. That’s his 16th win and has placed 13 times.
“We’ve had our problems over the years with him, but the lads in the yard do a great job with him.
“Danny was brilliant. He just let him bowl and didn’t realise how far he was in front at one stage. He jumped better over hurdles than he’s ever done.
“If he’d have jumped like that in the Galway Hurdle he might have won that. That’s water under the bridge and maybe we’ll win it next year.
“I know he’ll be 12 but we went near to winning it this year. Danny said when he came in that this horse is getting better.”
Hanlon added: “He will stay hurdling and go for those conditions races, and he might have a run on the Flat.
“I’d love to have a go at the Galway Hurdle again next year (finished fourth in 2015 and second this year).”