Perfect start for Petit

Petit Mouchoir

Irish Champion Hurdle winner Petit Mouchoir made a pleasing debut over fences in the Bet & Watch Irish And UK Racing Live Beginners Chase at Punchestown.

Henry de Bromhead's front-running grey, who went on to finish third to Buveur D'Air in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, burnt off Brelade between the final two obstacles.

While he got in a little tight to the final fence, he never looked in danger of falling and coasted over the line in the hands of Davy Russell to justify 8-13 favouritism.

Prior to the last he had barely put a foot wrong and looks a smart recruit to the chasing game.

Russell said: "You'd be nervous heading out on him as today was very important he did things right with the future in mind. Henry is a master at improving hurdlers to chasers and he looks to have done it again.

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"Having run in a point that's a huge bonus, it gives them such a good grounding. We hadn't done that much schooling, two bits outside, though Henry does plenty himself. He gave him a pop yesterday and he was very good.

"The country is full of high-quality horses and he's one, it's a highly competitive sphere but I'm sure he'll hold his own."

Paddy Power cut the winner to 8-1 market leader for the Arkle Trophy in March.

De Bromhead said: "Davy gave him a super ride and we can breathe a sigh of relief. It's what you hope he would go out and do and he's done that. I'm delighted.

"He'd been schooling really well, until you see it on the track you are always a bit anxious, but he looked great there.

"He's clever, and he could come back here for the Grade Two (Craddockstown Novice Chase on November 19). We'll see what everyone wants to do, but that would look a nice race for him.

"He's always worked really well, but physically he's probably filled out more, and he ran a bit heavier here today."

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