Any Second Now floors Mome

Any Second Now maintained his unbeaten record with victory in the Sky Bet Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at Punchestown.

Ted Walsh: Won again with Any Second Now

Ted Walsh's five-year-old was a shock 66-1 winner on his debut at Navan last month, but was more prominent in the market for this Grade Two assignment as the 6-1 second-favourite.

Heading the betting at 4-11 was the Willie Mullins-trained Crack Mome.

The Closutton maestro had saddled six of the last eight winners of the Grade Two contest, with Mikael D'Haguenet (2009), Vautour (2014) and Douvan (2015) all going on to claim Cheltenham Festival glory later that season.

Last year's winner, the Mullins-trained Min, found only Altior too strong in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Prestbury Park.

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The free-going Dr Mikey took the six-strong field along for much of the two-mile journey, but was a spent force rounding the home turn, at which stage Crack Mome and Runfordave moved to the front.

Crack Mome was beginning to get the better of Runfordave on the run to the final flight but landed awkwardly and Mark Walsh delivered the patiently-ridden Any Second Now with a well-timed challenge to get up and score by a length and a quarter.

Crack Mome was a clear second, with Runfordave holding on for third ahead of Coquine D'Aunou.

Walsh said: “Not as big a surprise as the first time. You’d be disappointed if he didn’t run well, but turning into the straight I was quite happy that he was going to be a good third.

“They were two fair horses in front of him and when he got by Gordon’s horse I thought Ruby had a bit more in the tank, but he joined him at the last and did it well.

“It’s a sharp old two around here. It’s tight on the inside and I was worried about that. It was down to be a Grade Two but it was a winners of one really, but he did it nicely, his jumping was very good, I thought he was going as quick as he wanted to be going.

“He could be a very good horse. He’s a big raw sort of a horse. I’ll leave it to Frank [Berry] and JP [McManus] I’m sure they’ll have loads of ammunition for Cheltenham, we won’t be rushing."

The sponsors, Sky Bet, gave Any Second Now a quote of 9-1 for the Sky Bet Supreme at Cheltenham in March, a race for which they are Non Runner No Bet.

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