Mullins full of hope for Times
Tavern Times will be given the chance to build on his promising Cheltenham Festival performance in Wednesday's Paddy Power Champion I.N.H. Flat Race at Punchestown.
The Tom Mullins-trained six-year-old headed to Prestbury Park as a leading fancy for the Weatherbys Champion Bumper and was far from disgraced in finishing fourth behind runaway winner Cue Card.
"Tavern Times is an intended runner and although it was a very good effort at Cheltenham, I was surprised that the undulations and hurly burly of the whole thing cracked him a bit," said Mullins.
"I was surprised that he was so green, but I hope that he has learnt a lot from it.
"He has come out of the Cheltenham race very well and never missed a day or any work.
"There are no problems with the ground as long as it is good, soft or yielding, and heavy would be the only thing that he wouldn't want.
"He will be going over hurdles next season and if he were to run at the Cheltenham Festival, it would be over two miles (Supreme Novices' Hurdle).
"He has the potential to be a Grade One performer and has the class and pedigree to be competitive in the top hurdle races next year."