Sunday, 1 October 2017

Mullins' duo out to strike in competitive novice contests

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Willie Mullins will target both Grade Three novice contests at Tipperary with top prospects Sayar and Rathvinden both odds-on.

Rathvinden has certainly lived up to his early promise this season. The former Supreme Novice third, missed out last season with an injury but has taken well to chasing winning three events this season.

He was an unfortunate third at Killarney back in August, but took a step forward when winning encouragingly at Listowel a fortnight ago.

He takes on a decent field in the Like A Butterfly Novice Chase (5:05).

"He was very good in Listowel and he has come of that race well," said the master of Closutton.

"I think he will improve on this ground, and he should be up to running another big race for us."

He will need to beat the likes of Gordon Elliott's improving Potters Point, and Henry De Bromhead's  Conrad Hastings in the two mile contest.

A return to the Cheltenham Festival will certainly be on the agenda for the nine-year-old, who is currently priced at 33-1 for the JLT Novices' Chase.

Meanwhile in the Joe Mac Novice Hurdle (4:00), Mullins' Sayar takes a significant step up in class following his impressive hurdle debut victory.

The four-year-old was priced as low as 20-1 for the Supreme Novice Hurdle following his 16 length triumph at Kilbeggan.

"He was a bit green when winning a maiden hurdle impressively," Mullins told his website.

"He will have learnt an awful lot from that experience, but the ground is a slight concern."

Mullins also saddles outsider Law Girl.

Joseph O'Brien's Housesofparliament struck on the third time of asking over hurdles.

The four-year-old was formerly a useful flat runner having won at Group Three level, and finishing a close third in the St Leger.

Henry De Bromhead duo Special Diamond and Classic Theatre take their chance alongside Gordon Elliott's Morgan.

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