There was no magic from Abacadabras in the WKD Hurdle at Down Royal on Friday because Aspire Tower proved too high to overcome when the Henry de Bromhead trained runner was too strong under a canny ride from Rachel Blackmore.
Abacadabras trained by Gordon Elliott was the 8-15 favourite for the Grade Two feature – making his first competitive appearance since being beaten a head by Shishkin in a thrilling renewal of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in March.
Last seen out, the Henry de Bromhead trained Aspire Tower finished behind Burning Victory in the Triumph Hurdle and was in receipt of 6lb from the market leader. Rachel Blackmore looked in complete control, winning at 3-1.
Paddy Power cut Aspire Tower from 50/1 to 14/1 for the Champion Hurdle next March, with Abacadabras lengthened from 5/1 out to 8/1.
De Bromhead said: “I’m delighted with that. He was so good at Leopardstown at Christmas last year and I just felt after that his form didn’t look as good. He’s a big four-year-old who had just come off the Flat and maybe everything caught up with him a little bit as the season went on.
“We gave him a really good break and it’s fantastic that he has come back like that.
“Rachael was brilliant on him, he is tough out and he did it the hard way on his first run since March.”
“I’m delighted with Jason (The Militant) as well, he ran really well and Paul (Townend) thought he would come on from that.”
When asked whether the Champion Hurdle would be a target now, the reply was:
“I think he is entitled to certainly step up again. I’ll speak to the lads and see what everyone wants to do. I would imagine we would look at Christmas and see what is going on there.”
Speaking about Abacadabras, Gordon Elliott commented: “You are always disappointed when you don’t win. Jack (Kennedy) said he had a bit of a blow after the second last. He was riding like he was going to win cantering and just blew up.
“I was disappointed, but Jack said not to be too disappointed and that he had a blow and he is going to come on from that.
“Take nothing away from the winner, he looked very good on the day no matter what we did.
“We’ll see how he is and look at the Morgiana Hurdle in Punchestown.”