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Mystical powers to Supreme favouritism

3 minute read

Mystical Power remained unbeaten and jumped to the front of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle market following an impressive Grade 2 victory.

Trainer : WILLIE MULLINS Picture: AAP Image

Willie Mullins looks to have another potential superstar on his hands after Mystical Power's success in the Grade 2 Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle saw him leap to the head of the Supreme Novices' Hurdle market.

The beautifully-bred Mullins-trained five-year-old would certainly have entered many a notebook before even making his racecourse debut given he's by legendary sire Galileo and out of the Champion Hurdle-winning mare Annie Power.

Owned by JP McManus, John Magnier and Rich Ricci, the blue-blooded son of Galileo made the perfect start to his career as a racecourse when landing a Ballinrobe bumper back in May before making a successful hurdling debut at Galway a couple of months later.

Mystical Power had been set to line-up in the Grade 1 Lawlor's of Naas Novice Hurdle at Naas last weekend, but connections decided to sidestep the contest, which was rearranged and won by stablemate Readin Tommy Wrong on Friday.

Racing in the infamous green and gold hoops of owner JP McManus, Mystical Power was sent off the 5/4 favourite to take the step up to Graded level in his stride and although there was almost certainly room for improvement in the jumping department, it's clear connections have a bright prospect on their hands as he sauntered up the Punchestown straight to give trainer Willie Mullins a record-extending tenth success in the Grade 2 contest.

Mark Walsh was happy to bide his time at the rear of the quartet and it wasn't until rounding the final bend where he would angle his mount out widest of all for a run. Mystical Power quickened up smartly to pick up proceedings from the falling back Lombron and Walsh soon found himself well clear of Gordon Elliott's Jigoro, who could only finish within seven lengths of the impressive winner crossing the line.

There were a further 17 lengths back to James's Gate in third.

Mullins' assistant David Casey said: "I was very impressed with him; he wouldn't show that at home. He seems to save his best for the track, which is a great trait to have.

"We were a little bit worried about the ground today as he's coming from a summer campaign. We were a little worried if he would handle that heavy ground, but it looks like he went through it very well.

"We gave him a break after he had his couple of runs in the summer and brought him back to see if he would handle a winter campaign.

"Mark rode him a couple of weeks ago and thought he had improved hugely from when he had ridden him earlier in the year. He showed that today."

Sky Bet cut the impressive winner to 9/2 favourite for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, with fellow JP McManus-owned contender Jeriko Du Reponet, who is trained by Nicky Henderson, next in the betting at the 5/1 mark.

"At the moment you probably wouldn't go any further than two miles until you have to. Mark said he rides a lot quicker on the track than he does at home," Casey added.

"I thought he showed a fair turn of foot there. I know the camp have the second-favourite for the Supreme as well so they might want to split them up, but at the moment until you have to you wouldn't go further, I think."

Frank Berry, McManus' racing manager, said: "That was grand. Mark said they didn't go mad early on, but he quickened up well.

"Hopefully he'll have learned a little bit jumping-wise today and you could only be very pleased with him.

"We didn't know coming here how he was going to cope with the ground, but he coped with it quite well.

"He's keen anyway and the small field suited to get him settled."

When questioned if Mystical Power would be seen again before Cheltenham, Berry added: "The experience part of it would do him good but we'll leave that up to Willie."

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