Thursday 24 May 2018

Min's Cheltenham odds slashed after stroll

Trainer Willie Mullins Photo:PA
Trainer Willie Mullins Photo:PA newsdesk

Willie Mullins' hotpot Min strengthened his grip on the Supreme Novices' Hurdle with an effortless win in the Sky Bet Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at Punchestown.

Well backed for the Cheltenham Festival opener before he had even set foot on a racecourse for Mullins, he had impressed at this track last month. Stepped up in class to Grade Two company, he was following the successful footsteps of stablemates Vautour and Douvan, which also took this race before glory at the festival in March. For the first few furlongs Ruby Walsh tracked Tongie but soon sent the 1/7 favourite into a lead he would never relinquish.

Attribution tried to make a race of it turning into the straight, but Walsh pressed the button approaching the last and won win by nine and a half lengths.

It was hard not to be taken with his performance, and the bookmakers took evasive action for Cheltenham, with Betfred going 7/4 for the Supreme.

Walsh said: "I didn't have much of a say in that - he took a fair grip and was pinging his hurdles. I couldn't pull him back. He's doing his talking on the track."

Mullins added: "He's a very easy ride at home, but he seems to grow wings on the track. I was very impressed he could pull so hard. When the others came to him I said, 'We'll see what's in the tank'. But he just eased right away."

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