NEPTUNE NOVICES HURDLE: RACE PREVIEW

THE ex-French Pont Alexandre made a big impression when winning a Navan Grade 1 on his debut for the Willie Mullins yard. The unbeaten five-year-old has raced only twice for Mullins since arriving from France, scoring with plenty to spare both at Navan in Grade 1 company and in a Grade 2 at Leopardstown. The New One has already won at the track this season back in October, and finished a fine second last time to the smart At Fishers Cross Puffin Billy, unbeaten in his first four starts, all of which he won easily, was then beaten by Melodic Rendezvous at Exeter but was subsequently found to have pus in a foot. Rule The World is an intriguing entry after a sensational victory at Naas in January. The six-year-old by Sulamani looks to have bags of potential and seemed to surprise trainer Mouse Morris with the ease of his victory that day.

Taquin Du Seuil suffered his only defeat of the season against My Tent Or Yours at Ascot in November, form which now looks particularly sound following that horse’s brilliant victory in the Betfair Hurdle. Taquin Du Seuil got within a length and three-quarters of the favourite for the Supreme

Novices’ Hurdle and has since won comfortably at Sandown and Newbury.

Melodic Rendezvous and Champagne Fever look likely alternatives and Chatterbox, a stablemate of My Tent Or Yours, could be the “dark horse” if turning up with the step up to 2m5f expected to suit.

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