Conti has Supreme goal

Connections of Chateau Conti are hoping their French recruit can cause an upset in an open year for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle.

Willie Mullins: Trainer of Chateau Conti.

The Willie Mullins-trained five-year-old handled very soft ground with aplomb on his Irish debut at Cork recently as he came home to win by an unextended seven and a half lengths.

His owner Edward O'Connell has already tasted Festival success with Un De Sceaux in the Arkle and son, Colm, already has his sights set on Cheltenham in March.

He said: "The ground was absolutely bottomless, but he was very good at Cork. It looked to me that he had everything else in trouble six furlongs out.

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"He'll have to step up in class next time if he's to have any claims of going to Cheltenham.

"His pedigree suggests he could step up in trip later on, but, for now, I think two miles is as far as he wants to go.

"There's obviously the Deloitte (Leopardstown) he could run in, but what else Willie might have for that I wouldn't know as yet.

"This year the Supreme looks wide open but you can guarantee by the time the Cheltenham previews get going there'll be a 'rumour horse' that goes off very short. We'd like to think it could be us."

The big-race sponsors quote Chateau Conti at 16/1 in their non-runner no-bet market on the race.

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