Blue Dragon (Califet) is a front-runner so the Magalen Bryant-owned 8yo gelding AQPS led the field of the Prix La Barka Hurdle race (Gr2), a follow up of the Grande course de haies d’Auteuil where he had to face five horses sent by the leading Irish trainer Willie Mullins.
Pushed about alternately by Stormy Ireland (Motivator), then the defending champion Bapaume (Turtle Bowl) and finally Mr. Adjudicator (Camacho), he could not keep up in the end but never faltered. Finally, Mr Adjudicator, ridden for the first time by leading French jockey Bertrand Lestrade, took the upper hand and beat his stablemate Bapaume. Blue Dragon contained the last attack of Adagio des Bordes (Voice of the North) to keep the third place.
Jazz in Montreux (Rip van Winkle) fell in the back straight while still in a good position.
A promising 7th in the Grande course de haies, where Bapaume finished fourth, Mr Adjudicator was bred in Britain. Second in the Triumph Hurdle (Gr1) in March 2018 at the Cheltenham Festival, and in the Irish version, he was mostly entered in handicaps this season but was able to seize the day when the time was right. His third dam is a sister of Oaks winner Ramruma.
It is for Willie Mullins a sixth victory in this race, only one short of the record held by Noël Pelat since 1978…