WILLIE Mullins won a 10th Grade 1 Unibet Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown as Saldier emerged best of his three runners.
Stablemate Klassical Dream was the leading two-mile novice last term and after winning at Cheltenham and Punchestown in the spring, he was sent off the 2/5 favourite on his return.
On his first start for over a year, Saldier storms home to win the @UnibetRacing Morgiana Hurdle at @punchestownrace, with Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner Klassical Dream only third! ??
A tenth victory in the Grade One contest for @WillieMullinsNH! ?? pic.twitter.com/st98dCFeeA— Racing TV (@RacingTV) November 16, 2019
In contrast, Saldier (7/1) was having his first run since he fell when seemingly travelling better than subsequent ill-fated Champion Hurdle winner Espoir D’Allen last November.
He suffered a broken nose and was given plenty of time to heal – making his return from 371 days on the sidelines here.
Everything seemed to be going to plan for Klassical Dream as he tracked Petit Mouchoir into the straight, with Saldier coming under pressure.
However, when Paul Townend pressed the button on Klassical Dream, there was little response and Saldier swept by to win by a length and a half.
Petit Mouchoir battled back for second, with Klassical Dream a further length back in third. Mullins’ other runner, Sharjah, was fourth.