Leopardstown: Melon cut for Supreme after debut success

Melon goes long at the last on his hurdles debut at Leopardstown

PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos) Melon cut for Supreme after debut success By Peter Scargill 2:26PM 29 JAN 2017

MELON is the new favourite for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival after making a winning debut for trainer Willie Mullins at Leopardstown on Sunday.

Lining up for the 2m maiden hurdle with a tall home reputation, Melon produced a professional performance, bar a small error at the last, to beat his only serious rival Broken Soul by ten lengths.

Jockey Ruby Walsh told At The Races: "He did it well. He travelled well, jumped well and was a bit long at the last but it's a maiden hurdle. What he beat I don't know but it's a good start. He'd want another run before Cheltenham I'd say."

Bookmakers were instantly impressed and slashed Melon to 9-2 favourite (from 10) in a place, but he is generally the 5-1 joint-favourite (from 10) alongside former Champion Bumper winner Moon Racer.

Albert Bartlett option for Let's Dance

Mullins and Walsh doubled up with Let's Dance in the 2m4f Grade 2 Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors "50,000 Cheltenham Bonus Stable Staff" Novice Hurdle.

The five-year-old mare was winning for the fourth time in a row and has options in the OLBG.com Mares' Hurdle, Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle, Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle and Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenhan Festival.

However, owner Rich Ricci was leaning towards the latter two races and said: "She was very impressive. I think the Albert Bartlett might be the one for her. Either the Neptune or the Bartlett would be the way I would be thinking."

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