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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Pont explodes on to sceneHeadlines
Pont Alexandre takes the last in the lead

Pont Alexandre stamped himself a potential star in running out an all-the-way winner of the feature Grade One event at Navan on an afternoon when Ruby Walsh dominated with four victories.

Having had just one win in a maiden hurdle in France, the Willie Mullins-trained Pont Alexandre came into the Navan Novice Hurdle as something of an unknown quantity, and Walsh set out to make every yard on the 3-1 chance.

The winner never saw another rival and odds-on favourite Don Cossack, who did not jump that well, was in the process of being caught for second by Busty Brown when he came down after the final flight. It was Davy Russell's third fall in three successive races and he gave up the rest of his rides.

Mullins, recording his 100th victory of the season, was landing his third win in the race in five years after Mikael D'Haguenet and Boston Bob, and Pont Alexandre was inserted as the new 6-1 favourite for the Neptune Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham by Paddy Power.

Walsh said: "He was doing things nicely at home, but you always have a little worry about them having their first run over these hurdles. Having not run for so long, it was always going to be a worry going in a Grade One. It was a good performance and he'll be a lovely chaser."

Mullins added: "He could be anything, he's a horse I love. I saw him in France in the summer and I rang my client and said to Rich (Ricci) I think I want to buy this horse.

"He wasn't exactly catching pigeons on the gallops, but in the last month when the ground got heavy he started to show me a bit. He did one bit of work this week that showed me he might be good enough and I took a chance. The winners' races are so good, I thought if Don Cossack beats us then so be it.

"He looks a real nice prospect for the future. I don't think I've ever started one off in a Grade One before. If we'd gone for a Grade Two or Three we would have met the same horses except for Don Cossack, so I just wanted the run out of the way to find out how good he is. He showed us today.

"For a horse having just his second run he jumped like a natural. We won't go back in trip but the Deloitte is two and a quarter (miles), so I might do that. He'll probably stay at two and a half and I wouldn't be afraid of three miles. It will either be the Neptune or the Albert Bartlett in March

"He won't go to Leopardstown. The obvious race would be the Slaney Hurdle at Naas, but I think I want to get Champagne Fever ready for that (same owner), so I might just wait an extra few weeks."

3 May 2015

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Cirrus sees off Kazeem in Ganay
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Bragging rights for Stoute
Snow in frame for Chester
Astronereus stars for Perrett
Gleneagles team eye Curragh
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Ribbons sets sail for York
Ascot beckons for willing Able
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Petite another star for Mullins
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Guineas glory for Gleneagles
Step too far for Telescope
Gold-en result for Cowell
Balty too hot for Newmarket rivals
Nam 'ready to go' in Pretty Polly

2 May 2015

Oscar highlight of McManus show
Friend is ready, willing and Able
Elm withdrawn from Guineas
Baffert sights set on Kentucky
Eyes right for Henderson
Classy Canyon strikes again
Faugheen strolls to Champion glory
Blood-less success for Mullins
Moore looking forward to Glen
Rizeena takes distance test
Lucida on target for big run
Muir ace out to make a point
Murphy ready to rock at Brighton

1 May 2015

McDonogh has focus on victory
Annie powered up for redemption
Colgan fine following fall
Telescope sights set on Newmarket
Hannon hoping for Guineas double
Gleneagles primed for Classic date
Hannon hoping for Guineas double
Found misses Guineas test
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Diomed option for Ascription
Uncle sparks Mullins five-timer
Sceaux far so good
Jezki swats old rival Fly
Jackson battles to victory
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Elm team to make late call
Faugheen bids for perfect finale
Power misses Palace date
Power stars in Mares Champion field

30 April 2015

Bolster team mull future plans
Qualando seeking Grade One glory
Certain makes Muguet return
Gerard option for Chase
Godolphin duo miss Guineas date
Axom snap up Fontana
Wales's is likely Criterion target
Approach earns Guinness honours
Dynamite Don proves pure Gold
Bellshill another for Mullins
Vic hangs on to deny Thistle raid
Limato keeps unbeaten run going
Ascot hopes for Aktabantay
Mizzou puts down Gold Cup marker
Sceaux much to enjoy in Ryanair
No Fly stamina worries for Mullins

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