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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."

12 February 2016

Josses Hill peaks at Kempton for red-hot Nico de Boinville
Willie Mullins seeking more Gowran gains with Sempre Medici
Nicky Henderson joy at 'perfect' My Tent Or Yours Kempton workout
Kempton scorer Josses Hill back in business for Nicky Henderson
Victoria Pendleton to gain more point-to-point experience
Open Eagle seeking to book Cheltenham ticket at Warwick
Tony Martin and Dedigout target Boyne brace at Navan
Morning chasing Red Mills glory at Gowran
Willie Mullins seeking more Gowran gains with Sempre Medici
Paul Nicholls hoping Dodging Bullets can fire in Newbury return
Rocky Creek aiming to regain winning thread as he tackles Denman date at Newbury
L'Ami Serge aiming to book Arkle ticket in Kingmaker test at Warwick
Harry Bentley joins Roger Varian's Newmarket team
Oisin Murphy sidelined by broken collar bone
Martin Lane sidelined following Kempton fall
Connections hoping Blazer is tailor-made for Betfair test
My Tent Or Yours to have Kingwell prep at Kempton
Top Notch handed Morebattle Kelso aim
Exeter call precautionary check for Sunday card
Market Rally repels British raiders to claim UAE Guineas gold at Meydan
Ma Du Fou strikes Listed gold for Warren Greatrex at Huntingdon
David Pipe mulling Festival hurdles switch with Kings Palace
Winter Escape on Aintree trail following Doncaster victory for Alan King
National aims for Kerry Lee's trio of star staying chasers
Nico de Boinville keen on Altior Cheltenham chance
Willie Mullins considering Punchestown test for Annie Power
Tom George issues ground warning ahead of God's Own Kempton spin
Jonjo O'Neill swerves Newbury with More Of That

11 February 2016

Bangor and Uttoxeter beaten by weather
Mags Mullins sets sights on Cheltenham Festival with Thurles winner Ballychorus
Ma Du Fou cashes in with Banks success at Huntingdon
Tom George earmarks Doncaster prep for Grand National hope Saint Are
Willie Mullins set to chart direct Cheltenham route with Annie Power
Tracey Collins joy at Captain comeback at Dundalk
Blazer features in five-pronged Willie Mullins Newbury raid
Uttoxeter makes early call to abandon Saturday fixture
Ruby Walsh left deflated by Killultagh Vic injury
Bangor Friday card declared a washout
JLT favourite Killultagh Vic ruled out of Cheltenham Festival
Weekend workout planned ahead of Ascot 'option' for Flemenstar
Triumph Hurdle contender Fixe Le Kap heading for Victor Ludorum at Haydock
Kim Bailey has Supreme thoughts for Charbel
North Hill Harvey bids to secure Cheltenham ticket at Huntingdon
Gigginstown happy to play waiting game in Cheltenham Gold Cup
Peace And Co undergoes 'straightforward' respiratory procedure
Victoria Pendleton poised for hunter chase bow at Fakenham
Paul Nicholls flat out to prove Aux Ptits Soins Cheltenham fitness

10 February 2016

Subtle Grey has Donald McCain smiling at Carlisle
Bangor 'relatively pessimistic' about Friday fixture
Nina Carberry awaits further news on back injury
Injured Wayne Hutchinson to return next week
Rookie trainer Andrew McNamara ready to roll at Navan
Revised Uttoxeter programme a doubt on Saturday
Bangor 'relatively pessimistic' about Friday fixture
Oliver Sherwood sets Rayvin Black Wincanton target
Brian Ellison outlines Cheltenham plans for 'monster' Small Talk
Carlisle meeting given go-ahead
Carlisle meeting given go-ahead
Paul Nicholls - Cheltenham domination for Willie Mullins would take title
Micky Hammond not afraid of Champion Chase challenge with Just Cameron
Dan Skelton thinking of Fred Winter for Market Rasen winner Kasakh Noir
Willie Mullins sits out weekend action with Gold Cup favourite Vautour
Barry Geraghty cautious on Betfair Hurdle chance for Blazer
Victoria Pendleton mount Pacha Du Polder could go straight to Cheltenham
Paul Nicholls hands Silviniaco Conti Ascot Chase mission
Dodging Bullets on course for Game Spirit return at Newbury
Kingmaker crucial in L'Ami Serge progression to Cheltenham

9 February 2016

Robbie in the care of jumping great Mary Reveley
Waterlogging beats Ludlow and Taunton
Tommy Silver going for Triumph Hurdle gold at Cheltenham
Taunton Thursday fixture abandoned
Waterlogging claims Ludlow card
Neil King considering Punchestown option for Lil Rockerfeller
Colin Tizzard outlines Gold Cup hopes for Thistlecrack
Martin Keighley hoping Any Currency can benefit from Cross Country changes
Highland Lodge on course for Grand National date
Ludlow look again
Hurdling campaign in store for Ptit Zig
Kim Bailey has Lingfield in mind for Wolverhampton winner Sunblazer
Thrilled Stuart Crawford considers Ryanair option for Fine Rightly

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