Mullins Reports Fly & Pont Alexandre On Target

Fri 1st Feb 2013, 19:28

Pont Alexandre
©Healy Racing Photos
By Thomas Weekes
Speaking after Pique Sous won at Dundalk this evening, Champion Trainer Willie Mullins has confirmed all is well with his stable stars ahead of the Cheltenham Festival next month.

Regarding Hurricane Fly, he said “he is fine and has come out of his race (at Leopardstown) very well and is back in the form he was in two years ago. Last year he came in from grass lighter but this year he has come in stronger and has kept the condition on him. “

He added “Pont Alexandre (also an impressive winner at Leopardstown last weekend) gallops, stays and does everything right. He doesn't show me his ability at home but that's because we don't get stuck into him much and the plan remains for him to go to the Neptune Novices Hurdle and for Ballycasey to go for the Albert Bartlett.”

GRAND NATIONAL - The Northern Challenge

The Sue Smith-trained Auroras Encore was the last northern-trained horse to win the Grand National back in 2013 but recent victories for that part of the country have been thin on the ground since the likes of Lucius, Rubstic and Hallo Dandy in the late 70s early 80’s showed that steeplechasing was in a healthy state north of the Watford Gap with the likes of Gordon W Richards, Denys Smith, Arthur Stephenson, Peter Easterby and Jimmy Fitzgerald capable of holding their own against their southern and Irish counterparts.