Walsh delighted with Min
It was a busy but successful festive season for Ruby Walsh who has partnered 12 winners in the past fortnight, including three Grade One successes.
Min and Ruby Walsh go on to win the Racing Post Novice Chase
One of those was provided by Sky Bet's red-hot 2/5 Queen Mother Champion Chase favourite Douvan at Leopardstown on December 27.
The brilliant winner of the Arkle Challenge Trophy last season was sent off the 1/8 favourite and Walsh admitted that he only did what he had to do.
"He was very good again at Leopardstown," he said in his weekly interview on Racing UK.
"It was only a fortnight since he won at Cork but he jumped super and travelled really well; he just does everything so effortlessly and it was a really solid performance.
"He didn't do anything he wasn't entitled to do but you've got to get the job done and he did that."
Walsh and Mullins also combined to take Grade One honours with Min who is 11/4 second-favourite with Sky Bet to follow in the steps of Douvan and win the Arkle.
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Min finished second to Arkle favourite Altior in last season's Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival but is two from two over fences and promises to make a better chaser.
"He's jumped really well on his two starts, settled a bit better than he did over hurdles," continued Walsh.
"He was entitled to win at Navan. I suppose with Identity Thief pulling up at Leopardstown that took away from that performance but Min can only do what he's asked to do and he jumped superb and galloped really strongly.
"Altior was too good for him last year in the Supreme so stiffer challenges lie ahead."
Meri Devie 'only' won a maiden hurdle but the Spirit One filly created a sufficiently strong impression for Sky Bet to introduce her into the betting for the JCB Triumph Hurdle at 10/1 and Walsh is hopeful that there is more to come.
"She'd been working very well at home," he said.
"She had very little experience jumping wise having come off the Flat in France but she ran to a pretty high standard. She did contest a Group One in Deauville I think.
"She's a great attitude and she jumped super and it was a good performance. Hopefully she can build on that but you'd have to like the way she started off."
One that did get away was the Ryanair Hurdle with Nichols Canyon finishing seven lengths adrift of Petit Mouchoir and Walsh doesn't believe that he ran up to form.
"He jumped a bit to his right, I don't think it was his true running. It was a tame effort and he's usually such a tough horse," he concluded.
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