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Published: 18:52 | 29/4/16

Mag powers to Punchestown glory

?Vroum Vroum Mag proved a worthy replacement for Annie Power as she held off the challenge of Identity Thief to land a thrilling renewal of the Betdaq Punchestown Champion Hurdle.

The mare was rerouted to Friday's two-mile contest when Annie Power was ruled out and she handled the drop back to two miles with ease, winning by a length and a quarter.

Sent off the 4-6 favourite, Vroum Vroum Mag took up the running from Identity Thief after half a mile but the early leader tracked her throughout along with English raider My Tent Or Yours.

Having produced two superb runs at Cheltenham and Aintree, My Tent Or Yours was unable to go with the front two when Walsh began to pick up the pace and Nicky Henderson's charge dropped out of contention approaching the second last.

Vroum Vroum Mag made a slight mistake at the penultimate flight but it did little to interrupt her rhythm and she held off the game challenge of Identity Thief to land the Grade 1 prize.

"It just shows the strength in depth we are lucky enough to have," Walsh said of the mare.

"At the start of the year Nichols Canyon, Arctic Fire and Faugheen looked our main ones and we've ended up winning the Champion Hurdle with Annie Power and here with Vroum Vroum Mag.

"She's always worked with incredible pace. Looking at her you'd think she'd want a trip, but in the last piece of work before the Champion Hurdle we were wondering if we'd put the right mare in.

"I always had faith in her. She was winning over further because of her class, I wasn't sure she was really staying.

"When I asked her round the bend she pricked her ears so I knew she had loads left.

"She's a diamond."

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