Min-imal fuss for the Supreme favourite Punchestown

Willie Mullins says he could not have asked for any more after another impressive victory from his horse, this time at Punchestown

Min-imal fuss for the Supreme favourite Punchestown

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, who also took this race before glory at the Festival in March.

For the first couple of furlongs, Ruby Walsh tracked Tongie but soon sent the 1-7 favourite into a lead which he was never to relinquish.

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

While the race lacked any strength in depth, it was hard not to be taken with his performance and not surprisingly 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 so I couldn't pull him back.

"I slowed it up running to the second-last, hoping to get a breath into him but they were on my tail pretty quickly so I had to go again. But he quickened up really impressively and won comfortably.

"He's learning as he goes, but you never want to get left behind at Cheltenham anyway as you'll never get back into the race.

"I think he's like Vautour and Douvan, raw and immature, but he's doing his talking on the track."

Mullins said: "You could not ask for any more, and he's living up to all the chat about him. He does his best work at home on better ground, so to do that on this ground is a big plus.

"I don't know if he will run again before Cheltenham, probably not. He's a very easy ride at home, but he seems to grow horns or wings on the race track. He took a hard hold today.

"I was very impressed that he could pull so hard early on, then Ruby gave him a breather and when the other two came to him I said 'we'll see what's in the tank now'. But he just eased right away."

Dreams measures up on chasing debut

Measureofmydreams made a winning start to his fencing career in the sportinglife.com Beginners Chase at Punchestown.

The 11-8 market leader doesn't have many miles on the clock for an eight-year-old but was a useful novice hurdler last term and put in a satisfactory round of jumping to see off Mr Diablo by two and a quarter lengths.

Trainer Willie Mullins said: "He jumped well, and I'd say he's going to be a better chaser than a hurdler. He'll improve going out in trip, and is one of our staying types."

Lift The Latch has a bright future judging by his impressive display in the David Trundley Artist At Punchestown Maiden Hurdle.

Successful between the flags back in March 2014, his subsequent absence didn't stop him going off a well-supported 100-30 shot and he had matters sewn up some way from home before beating Indian Court by six and a half lengths.

Trainer Tony Martin said: "We've had him a while but things didn't go to plan and he's had a few niggling problems. He won his point-to-point as a four-year-old and had a few schooling races so he'd done plenty.

"It's hard to know what sort of race it was but he's a good-looking horse and has the size and frame to jump fences. I'd imagine he'll go over fences next season."

Elusive Ivy (5-1) has been costly to follow since a Galway success in October, but rewarded those who kept the faith in the Ronan Doyle Happy 50th Birthday Mares Handicap Hurdle.

All Summer Long approached the last with a clear advantage, but a slow leap opened the door for Leaders Questions and Elusive Ivy, with the latter getting the better of the argument by three-quarters of a length.

Diamond a cut above at Punchestown

Diamond King has got his career back on track since joining Gordon Elliott and proved too strong in the Follow Us On Facebook & Twitter Rated Hurdle at Punchestown.

A useful novice for Donald McCain a couple of seasons back, he failed to hit the heights expected of him but had shown more in two runs for Elliott.

Sent off the 6-5 favourite, he made his move between runners approaching the final flight and quickened smartly in the hands of Jack Kennedy to score by three and three-quarter lengths.

Elliott said: "He's a grand horse, and I think better ground will suit him better. That could be him until Cheltenham. Noble Endeavor won this last year, and the Martin Pipe race is the plan I have in mind for this horse."

Warren Greatrex has Punchestown trip in Mind with One Track

Warren Greatrex is plotting an ambitious campaign with One Track Mind which could include a trip to the Punchestown Festival.

The Upper Lambourn handler is to target the six-year-old at the Grade Two Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock on February 20 following his ready success at Newbury last month.

Should all go to plan on his next start, Greatrex indicated the Grade One Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle, won last year by Jezki, could enter the equation.

He said: "One Track Mind has gone up 7lb for his win at Newbury and the plan now is to go for the Rendlesham at Haydock.

"He will miss Cheltenham and Aintree and depending how it goes at Haydock, he could go for the three-mile Grade One race at Punchestown.

"We might just dip our toe in that race as there might not be that many Cheltenham runners there. That is the long-term plan if all goes well."