Former Supreme Novice favourite Senewalk targets a maiden victory as he prepares to campaign to the Cheltenham Festival tonight.
Willie Mullins' five-year-old runs in the www.tranmore-racecourse.com Maiden Hurdle (8:00), hoping for his first win over hurdles.
Formerly a Cheltenham fancy, owner Rich Ricci claimed he had 'high hopes' for him, but he's disappointed in two efforts in maiden company since.
He was a winner on the flat in France, but finished sixth on his hurdle debut at Punchestown, before missing out on a place when fourth on return to the County Kildare track.
Ridden by Ruby Walsh, he takes a big step down in class for this evening’s race, and he has plenty to improve from that run 17 days ago.
“Senewalk runs in the maiden hurdle over 2m5f,” Mullins told his website.
“He has been disappointing but is dropping down a lot in grade here.
“He is fit and well, but needs to show improvement if he is to get off the mark over hurdles today.”
Mullins' main target for Senewalk would be the Neptune Novice Hurdle over a similar trip, if he can begin to show his full potential.
The Irish trainer is already dominating the antepost market for the Neptune with Champion Bumper
winner Fayonagh the current favourite.
Meanwhile Mullins’ Bumper fourth Next Destination and three-time winner Getabird all look to have live chances in the Grade One contest.
Early prices are indicating Senewalk as a 20/1 shot for the Neptune, despite winless over hurdles.
Although he could re-route to the curtain raising Supreme Novice hurdle, but that would mean he steps down in trip to two miles. The bookies rate him around a 25/1 chance for Supreme success.
He is priced at around 13/8 to break his maiden this evening.