Tiger fends off Screaming Rose
Blood Crazed Tiger fought back to complete a four-timer in the Paddy Power Acca Insurance European Breeders Fund Novice Hurdle.
Trainer Gordon Elliott in the parade ring at Punchestown
It took Gordon Elliott's charge five attempts before eventually breaking his duck in a Roscommon bumper in May, but he has not looked back since.
The five-year-old made a successful reappearance and hurdling debut at Gowran Park at the start of October before following up over this course and distance a couple of weeks later and he was the 6/4 favourite to strike gold once more in the hands of David Mullins.
Blood Crazed Tiger made much of the running in the three-mile Listed contest, but looked booked for minor honours after being passed by Screaming Rose and Ruby Walsh at the top of the home straight.
However, the Willie Mullins-trained mare did not find as much as anticipated when coming under pressure and the Elliott runner regained the lead after jumping the second-last and galloped on to prevail by a length and a quarter.
Elliott's assistant, Olly Murphy, said: "He's not the most straightforward horse in the world, but David gets on well with him.
"He's good and tough, and is going the right way.
"He did everything right today, he's just a tough, hardy, genuine horse and will be a grand horse going jumping fences.
"He'll only be a horse next year, so whatever he does now is a bonus."
Elliott and Mullins were soon on the mark for a second time as even-money joint-favourite Bilko claimed top honours in the Paddy Power Best In Betting Value EBF Maiden Hurdle.
Murphy said: "He is a work in process – he was very green the last day and whatever chance he had of winning, he threw it away at the last.
"His work at home is good, but two and a half miles is probably as far as he wants to go – I don't think he's slow and David gave him a nice ride.
"We'll look for a small winners-of-one race in three weeks time next."
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