Back on the track for the first time in nearly a year, Min makes no mistake and hints some potentially big prizes could be in store this season with a facile victory in the Ladbrokes Bet 10 & Get 40 On The Grid Chase at Gowran Park under jockey Paul Townend for trainer Willie Mullins and owners Rich and Susannah Ricci.
In six starts for Willie Mullins, Min has been beaten only once – when favourite for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival as a runner-up behind Altior – and this was his widest-margin victory to date, pulling away effortlessly here for success y 36 lengths from previous Cheltenham Festival winner Flaxen Flare and Uncle Danny.
A Grade 1 winner last season over fences, Min only had two tries over the larger obstacles before injury curtailed his campaign – but it looks like that Mullins star could be about to make up for lost time.
Jockey Paul Townend told us: “He was very good – he just wasn’t concentrating at the first. He’s been off the track a long time and probably in that ground I was trying to go a stride slower than he wanted to go. But he was very good and galloped out all the way to the line – it was as good as we’d hoped.”
Willie Mullins said: “That was a tremendous return for Min and I thought his jumping was good and he was fresh and well.
“I loved the way he jumped and put himself right, and while he didn’t have much opposition, and had a lot of things his own way, he was still very good.
“We now know he goes two and a half miles and he wasn’t stopping, either, so it opens up a few more options.
“The John Durkan is too soon and I’ll be looking at Leopardstown over Christmas, unless there’s a juicy one before that.”
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