Tom Mullins is confident there is more to come from Alderwood over fences this spring following his highly-creditable performance at Punchestown on Sunday.
The JP McManus-owned nine-year-old enjoyed a fantastic end to last season, winning the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival before claiming further major prizes at the big spring meetings at Fairyhouse and Punchestown.
He has made a fine start to his career over the larger obstacles, with a couple of good runs in defeat followed by a first chasing win at Navan. He raised his game again to finish second on his handicap debut in Sunday's Dan Moore Memorial Chase and now heads the market for the Grand Annual back at Cheltenham.
Mullins said: "I was really pleased with him. I thought he ran a cracker considering it was his first run in a really competitive handicap over fences.
"He's come out of the race in good form and hopefully that run sets him up well for the big Festivals in the spring.
"I haven't had the nod from JP (McManus, owner) or Frank (Berry, racing manager) yet, but you'd imagine that (Grand Annual) would be an obvious target for him.
"He went up 3lb for his run the other day, which leaves him on 138.
"You'd like to think that he'll keep progressing on the better ground in the spring, like he did last year.
"I'm very happy with where we are with him at the moment."
12 March 2014Mullins succumbs to Hercules pull
Faugheen chasing Neptune glory
Mullins sweet on Ballycasey
Arvika primed for Champion assault
Conan has Sire in his sights
Injured Maguire making progress
Six of the best for magical Quevega
Henderson hails Harrington win
Classy Conor loses life
Jet-propelled Jezki takes Champion
11 March 2014Present and correct for Snowden
Midnight express steams to NH glory
Holywell repeats Festival dose
Warhorse wins Arkle battle
Vautour storms to Supreme success
No track worries for Sire team
Mullins to field three in JLT
Ferof features in Ryanair dozen
Leading duo top World field
Last and First in Gold frame
Injured Maguire out of Festival
Judgement day beckons for Fly
Curtis wants Scholfield for Tea
Que takes aim at Festival landmark
Irving strives to rule Supreme
Champagne in sparkling form
Sire spearheads Queen Mother entry
Confidence behind Conor
Special One bids for Champion glory
10 March 2014Maguire airlifted to hospital
Clouds lined up for RSA
Gold hopes fading for Topper
Ruby ready to Rock
Suspensory problem sidelines Chris
Mullins 'very happy' with Fly
Cooper raring to go after fall
National glee for supersub Mullins
Francome fancies New One revenge
Quinn targets another Triumph
Buck's primed for World title bid
Cheltenham team monitor ground
Fenton delays Instalment call
Activial to duck Festival mission
Hope springs eternal for Encore
Fab Fly takes on eight in Champion
9 March 2014Fall leaves Cooper 'badly winded'
Cooper warms up with double
Cooper warms up with double
Avenue roads lead to Irish Oaks
Dude's the main man
Top trainers reject watering
Hinterland takes Champion test
Baltimore sets up bonus bid
Warrior wins Trial battle
Fallon hits Meydan heights
Chartreux bounces back to best
Brave Vic has Final word
Soumillon strikes on super Shea
On His Own joins Gold Cup field