Min makes good start over fences
Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle runner-up Min made a fine start to his career over fences with a comfortable success in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Beginners Chase at Navan.
Willie Mullins: Trainer of Min.
The five-year-old was the subject of plenty of positive reports even before his debut for Willie Mullins last winter and two impressive displays at Punchestown saw him sent off a hot favourite for the Cheltenham Festival curtain-raiser, where he found Nicky Henderson's Altior too strong.
Altior made a flying start to his chasing career at Kempton last Monday and Min was the 1/3 favourite to follow suit.
Ruby Walsh kept things simple aboard the market leader, sending him straight to the head of a 17-strong field.
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Min was a little untidy at the first couple of fences, but gradually warmed to his task and his jumping was largely assured from the remainder of the two-mile-one-furlong contest.
He got in tight to the second fence from the finish, but was accurate at the last and picked up well on the run-in to pass the post 10 lengths to the good.
Three Wise Men was best of the rest in second ahead of Edwulf in third.
Mullins, Walsh and owners Rich and Susannah Ricci were winning the race for the fourth successive year following the previous victories of Ballycasey, Vautour and Douvan.
Walsh said: "He had a good look at the first, but I thought he jumped very well. He sets himself up nicely and he's pretty easy to ride.
"He got beat in the Supreme, the other two (Vautour and Douvan) didn't. Mind you, when you look what beat him, I'd say Altior is a very good horse and I thought he was very good in Kempton."Min looks set to follow in the hoofprints of Douvan last season by stepping up to Grade One level in the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown.Mullins said: "He jumped well and I'm really delighted with him. We can now look forward to his next race, which will probably be at Christmas."I'd say he will stay over this distance at Leopardstown. I don't see any need to step up in trip as he's happy at that distance."Coral cut Min to 4-1 from 5-1 for the Arkle Trophy, with Altior the 2-1 favourite.
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