Sharjah and Mullins hit hattrick in Matheson Hurdle
Sharjah and Patrick Mullins made it a fabulous hat-trick when displaying a fantastic turn of foot in the Matheson Hurdle at Leopardstown.
Runner-up in the Champion Hurdle to Epatante in March, Sharjah has not been sent off favourite for any of his wins, remarkably.
Ridden cold by Mullins, he was dropped out right at the rear as Rachael Blackmore attempted to make all on Aspire Tower.
Saint Roi, a Willie Mullins stablemate of the winner, had no excuses on this occasion – but well-positioned by Mark Walsh, his jumping did not stand up to the test in the highest company.
Another Willie Mullins inmate, Saldier – having his first run for more than 400 days – ran well for a long way before dropping away after the last.
But Gordon Elliott’s Abacadabras disappointed and never looked like winning at any stage.
Briefly Blackmore and Aspire Tower looked as if they might have slipped the field, but Sharjah (11-2) arrived on the scene still on the bridle before quickening up to win by two lengths. Petit Mouchoir ran on for third.
Paddy Power cut the winner to 8-1 from 16s to go one better than last season in the Champion Hurdle.