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HOLLY GOOD SHOW.

FRENCH HOLLY romped home at Cheltenham yesterday but won't be taking on Istabraq in a hurry.

The 2-1 favourite's supporters hardly experienced an anxious moment throughout the two miles five furlongs.

Andrew Thornton kept him close to the leaders and moved smoothly to the front three out.

From that point he stretched away with the minimum of effort to take his unbeaten record over hurdles to five.

Torboy, who had led for much of the race, stayed on to finish 14 lengths away in second with Cloone Bridge third.

William Hill quote French Holly at 7-1 for next year's Champion Hurdle, behind Tuesday's winner Istabraq at 7-2.

But trainer Ferdy Murphy said: "There's no point taking on Istabraq. He's a big horse who will probably be aimed at the Stayers' Hurdle next year and then eventually tackle fences," said Murphy.

Paddy's Return, Murphy's hope for today's Stayers' Hurdle, worked with French Holly at Newcastle recently and came out better.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 19, 1998
Words:159
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