©Healy Racing Photos
By Thomas Weekes
The Wille Mullins trained Champagne Fever bounced back from a potentially season ending lung infection with a Grade 1 win in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown today, advertising his Cheltenham claims in the process.
Ridden by Paul Townend, the 2/1 favourite made all and while he jumped a little to his right at a few hurdles, kept up his gallop to hold the challenge of Bright New Dawn by a length and three quarters, with Wingtips back in third.
Mullins later stated “it's a huge relief to get this fellow back on track - we're always afraid when a horse gets an infection like that which might ruin his season. At least he seems to have come back to where he was though.
“It wouldn't be a problem going out in trip with him but we'll stick to the Supreme Novices Hurdle.
Quotes from Gary Carson