Leopardstown: Sharjah captures Ryanair Hurdle on final day of Christmas festival
Sharjah swept to a convincing win in the Ryanair Hurdle on the final day of the Christmas festival at Leopardstown.
Under jockey Patrick Mullins the five-year-old surged to the front going to the last and sprinted clear to win the Grade One feature from Supasundae.
The Willie Mullins-trained gelding beat stablemate Melon into fourth with Gordon Elliott's Tombstone and Samcro finishing third and fifth respectively.
Earlier, Davy Russell partnered Delta Work to victory in the Novice Chase.
In a race that featured five runners from the Michael O'Leary-owned Gigginstown House Stud, Delta Work proved a class apart for the Elliott stable as a mistake at the last by Joseph O'Brien's Mortal allowed Russell to steer his mount to an eight-length win.
However, there was disappointment for Elliott in the feature race as Samcro could not justify his favourite's tag when he moved towards the front on the turn for home but fell off the pace.
Instead, Sharjah, who also won the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown in November in convincing fashion, found a different gear to scoop the £66,500 top prize ahead of an expected bid for the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle.