Dance gives Mullins new options
Let's Dance opened up new Cheltenham Festival options for Willie Mullins and Rich Ricci with a comfortable win at Leopardstown.
Let's Dance and Ruby Walsh gallop clear on their way to victory in the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors '€˜50,000 Cheltenham Bonus' Novice Hurdle.
The 8/11 favourite gave Mullins and Ruby Walsh a quick double after the first-race victory of Melon with an emphatic success in the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners solicitors '50,000 Cheltenham Bonus Stable Staff' Novice Hurdle. It was the sixth consecutive victory for Mullins in the Grade Two contest.
Jumping to the front three out, Let's Dance pulled well to clear to win by six lengths from stablemate Kemboy and take her winning run over hurdles to four.
Blood Crazed Tiger was setting the pace when taking a crahing all five out. Both horse and rider Jack Kennedy were quickly on their feet.
Mullins said: "The advantage she has is that she's a second-season novice in against real novices. She ran last year but didn't win and we just ran her in big races because she started off so late in the season.
"We took a chance that if she won one, all well and good, but if she didn't she'd have all the experience for this year. I think that's paying off for her, apart from the fact that she's a good filly anyway. The conditions of the race suited her here. She did it well.
"We have to try and pick the right race for her at Cheltenham now. The mares' novice would look the obvious one, but that's only two and a quarter miles.
"She might be better off running in maybe the Neptune or the Mares' Hurdle, something a bit longer. We'll see what turns up in the mares' novice.
"Two-and-a-quarter around Cheltenham would be a good gallop, though, and it's more than likely the one. We'll see as we have a few nice mares for that race.
"We won't have to make up our mind for a while and we'll see how she comes out of that."
Winning owner Rich Ricci mentioned the Albert Bartlett as a possible option, but Mullins said he sees the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham as a possible target for Kemboy.
"He could be an Albert Bartlett type the way he raced there," said the Closutton handler. "He impressed me in his work during the week. He was running a real good race until that mistake. He's improving all the time."