Mullins can take his chances on O'Leary's Archive and Steel
Published 16/05/2015 | 02:30
Archive is napped to get what could be a lucrative afternoon for Gigginstown House Stud at Punchestown off to a flying start.
Bryan Cooper sits out proceedings, so it falls to the rising star David Mullins to partner Eoin Griffin's smart Michael O'Leary-owned five-year-old in the opening maiden hurdle.
The 25-runner contest isn't the easiest to decipher, with Enda Bolger's promising point-to-point winner Ballyoisin making its track bow and Willie Mullins' triple French Flat winner having its first hurdle start.
Henry de Bromhead's Ordinary World has proven ability, but Archive appeals as having the most solid credentials.
The €42,000 Sulamani gelding beat Potters Point on its second bumper start at Leopardstown in February, before going on to run commendably when fifth in a Grade Two bumper at Aintree. Bellshill, runner-up on that occasion, franked the form by winning a Grade One at Punchestown.
In that context, Archive could prove to be a step ahead here, notwithstanding that he has never jumped a hurdle in public. Having been third to the champion trainer's similarly useful Livelovelaugh in a point-to-point a year ago, hurdles will hardly faze him.
Potters Point, which has finished second in a point-to-point and two bumpers, should collect for Mullins and his son Patrick in the ubiquitous maroon and white silks the bumper, while Real Steel is another of interest for O'Leary's firm in the €24,000 two-mile handicap chase.
With Foildubh topping the page and consistent sorts like Usa, Formidableopponent, Mister Hotelier and Treat Yourself all on duty, this is a competitive contest.
Real Steel has plenty to prove, but the excellent five-pound-claiming Mullins has again been booked for Mouse Morris's charge as he makes his handicap debut off a mark of 140.
While the job might prove beyond Real Steel, he competed well in good company as a novice, signing off with a commendable effort to be fourth to Un De Sceaux at Punchestown.
If he runs to a similar level now, he should not be too far away, while Macnicholson is worth a look in the beginners' chase.