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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."

17 January 2017

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Politologue stars in novice entry at Haydock
Contrasting views on Kempton closure from prominent Newmarket figures
Sir Anthony McCoy weighing in heavier since retirement due to chocolate cravings
Cyrus Darius primed for eagerly-awaited weekend return at Haydock
Heartbreak City on course for big handicap date at Leopardstown
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Australian jockey Josh Cartwright set to learn fate after riding drama
Richard Fahey anticipating northern support for returning Paul Hanagan
Sire De Grugy skips Clarence House outing at Ascot
Michael Buckley enthused by Brain Power's Ascot performance
Yanworth to tackle Contenders heat with Cheltenham in his sights
Charlemar set to step up in trip following Tolworth disappointment
Petit Mouchoir to face Champion test at Leopardstown
Un De Sceaux team pinpoint Ascot nous as key strength in Clarence House Chase
Bastien blazes a trail to pocket Plumpton prize for Alan King
Fit-again Noel Fehily back in action at Exeter
Godolphin dominate fast-track qualifier as Antiquarium roars at Wolverhampton
Harry Fry guarded against Cleeve complacency for Unowhatimeanharry
Colin Tizzard set to unleash Cheltenham Gold Cup hope Alary at Haydock
Harry Fry plans to chart direct Cheltenham Festival route with American
Gordon Elliott looking to Irish Gold Cup with Empire Of Dirt
Willie Mullins hoping Faugheen will make Irish Champion return

16 January 2017

Jan Faltejsek ends British drought as Fairlee Grey strikes at Ayr
Tributes paid after death of Fakenham maestro Cool Roxy
No plans for Dougie Gittens to appeal against Kelso ban
Un De Sceaux spearheads Clarence House octet at Ascot
Vezelay on course for Cheltenham Trial
Dunphy and Logan banned for two years following Like A Diamond case
Connections mulling Arkle outing for Identity Thief at Leopardstown
Gary Moore lining up Banks raid with Benatar
Amateur rider Dougie Gittins hit with 10-day ban at Kelso
Ballyoisin makes amends for recent fall
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has his say on Kempton closure plans
Jack Kennedy shines as Ball D'Arc keeps up title momentum for Gordon Elliott
Barra banks maiden win at Fairyhouse
Grand National contender One For Arthur excites Peter Scudamore
Jonjo O'Neill on Leopardstown Gold trail with Minella Rocco
Neil Mulholland considers Cleeve Hurdle for Grand National hope The Young Master
Seamus Mullins could go Flat out with Fergall

15 January 2017

My Manekineko set to take Leopardstown plunge
Ball D'Arc proves too good in Dan Moore Memorial at Fairyhouse
John Francome criticises Jockey Club proposals to close Kempton
'Sore' Noel Fehily ruled out of Fairyhouse action
Kelso receives go-ahead
Noel Fehily 'sore' but clear of injury after Warwick spill
One For Arthur powers to Classic Chase glory at Warwick
Willoughby Court impresses for Grade Two honours at Warwick
Tobefair continues winning spree at Warwick
Modus makes no mistake in Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton
American stars in Hampton Novices' Chase at Warwick
Any Second Now floors hotpot Crack Mome at Punchestown
Frost and snow puts paid to Fakenham Sunday card
Fine Rightly looking to show his class at Kelso
Murphy sets sights on Moore glory with Pairofbrowneyes

14 January 2017

Willoughby Court impresses for Grade Two honours at Warwick
Magic show delights Richard Phillips at Warwick
BHA chief Nick Rust hails news of Levy reform
Kelso call Sunday morning check
Pobbles Bay looking to take next step up the ladder at Warwick
Wetherby gets the go-ahead
Government announces Levy reform boost for racing
Nicky Henderson reveals setback for Supreme Novices' contender Jenkins
Alan King 'very happy' with Uxizandre as racecourse return nears
Divin Bere shines in Nicky Henderson hat-trick at Huntingdon
Peregrine Run all set for Warwick raid with Cheltenham in mind
Crack performer Mome puts Supreme credentials on the line at Punchestown
Valseur Lido set to miss rest of the season after meeting with injury setback
Jaleo team hoping he can shine in Lanzarote heat
Shotgun Paddy aiming to hit Classic target at Warwick

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