Willie Mullins has compared Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle favourite Min favourably against stable stars Vautour and Faugheen at the same stage of their careers.
There was no secret how highly Min was rated at Mullins’ Closutton yard prior to his Punchestown debut in December and he didn’t disappoint as he landed odds of 4-11 with the minimum of fuss. Stepped up to Grade Two company next time out he was even more impressive, despite racing keenly, and even Mullins himself was impressed.
“All the form lines are coming back good with Ball D’Arc winning (a Grade Two) in Naas,” said Mullins.
“Everything that runs from his races compliments him. I think he’s as good as Faugheen and Vautour were (when they went to Cheltenham as novices). What he did the last day, having pulled so hard, he was really hard on himself throughout the race and then to pick up again and go away I thought was very good.
“He’s followed near enough the same route as Vautour and Douvan and they are two hot horses to follow. Whether he’s as good as those two I don’t know, but he’s doing everything they did.
“I don’t think the occasion will bother him, we’ve not had problems in the parade ring and he’d be no different than any horse going to Cheltenham for the first time.”
Min stands tall among 46 remaining possibles for the Supreme after 18 were taken out, including Ladbroke winner Sternrubin.
A total of 56 remain in contention for the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle, for which Alan King’s imperious Yanworth casts a huge shadow over his rivals.
Willie Mullins still has plenty to pick from with Yorkhill, Bellshill, Blue Et Rouge, Long Dog and Up For Review among them. Those Mullins inmates are also in the 57 left in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle. That race is dominated by Barters Hill, with Shantou Village also in the mix.
There are 38 left in a wide-open JCB Triumph Hurdle, with Ivanovich Gorbatov heading the betting.
LINGFIELD: 2.00 Authorized Spirit, 2.30 Highwayman, 3.00 Englishwoman, 3.35 Majestic Myles, 4.05 Mr Caffrey, 4.40 Kalamata (treble).
WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.45 Freeze A Crowd, 6.15 Bracken Brae (next best), 6.45 Seraphima, 7.15 Boxing Shadows, 7.45 Off The Pulse, 8.15 FOUR MILE BEACH (NAP).
WARWICK: 2.10 Surtee Du Berlais, 2.40 Pemba 3.10 Captain Flash, 3.45 Renard, 4.15 As De Fer, 4.50 Lunar Flow, 5.20 Listen To The Man.
EXETER: 2.20 Girly Girl, 2.50 Anda De Grissay, 3.20 Firsty, 3.55 Cork Citizen, 4.25 Three Faces West, 5.00 Baraka De Thaix, 5.30 Triple Chief.