Early races at Navan, Gowran Park, Tipperary, Killarney, Punchestown, Cork, Naas and Thurles only saw Hedgehunter’s clear ability to place, leaving Willie Mullins waiting a full year until he won his first race, finishing first in the INH Stallion Owners European Breeders Fund Maiden Hurdle at Clonmel. Further second place finishes at Clonmel, Cork and Gowran Park slowed Hedgehunter’s consistency before he took his first win at Punchestown in the Grand National Trial Handicap Chase. His first appearance at Cheltenham Festival came shortly after, where he could only manage twelfth in the Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase.
Running in individual race meetings saw a win in the Goulding Thyestes Handicap Chase at Gowran Park and a place at Newbury, Chepstow and Punchestown. Hedgehunter then had his first entry at Aintree Festival, where he disappointingly fell in the Grand National. The poor showing in the Aintree Grand National was followed by dismal finishes in races at Clonmel, Thurles, Fairyhouse, Leopardstown, Punchestown, before he bounced back with a win in the Bobbyjo Chase. It was a sign of things to come, as Hedgehunter finally reached his full potential in winning the 2005 Grand National, finishing first with a 7/1 starting price.
After hitting his peak, Hedgehunter was unable to win another major race, resulting as runner-up in four of thirteen remaining runs, and only able to finish second and ninth in the next two attempts at the Grand National. The 2008 Grand National was the final race meeting he ran in, where it was clearly the right time for him to retire, as he could only reach thirteenth in a race where only fifteen horses made it to the finish line.