Min Set For Irish Arkle Outing
January 24 - Willie Mullins' promising novice chaser Min is set to run again later this month in the Irish Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown where connections will be hoping he maintains his 100% record over fences.
The six-year-old made his chase debut at Navan back in November where he came up against 16 rivals. He made the running for the majority of the 2m1f contest where he jumped well to score by 10 lengths.
Min returned to action in the Grade One Racing Post Novice Chase on Boxing Day where he really enhanced his reputation as one of the best novice chasers in the UK and Ireland. Mullins' runner made all and once again did not make an error in a safe round of jumping. The official distance was nine lengths on that occasions where Ordinary World and Road To Respect chased him home in second and third respectively.
Last season's Supreme Novices' Hurdle runner-up is set for a rematch in the Arkle Trophy with Altior who got the better of him at the Festival opener in 2016. Min is 11/4 with Betway to go one better than last year and prevail in the 2m novice chase contest on day one of the meeting.
One of the challengers to Min in Irish Arkle Novices' Chase on January 30 is Identity Thief, who is currently second best in the betting for the contest. The seven-year-old has had three runs over fences this season since switching to chasing on the back of a successful hurdles career.
Henry De Bromhead's horse won his opening beginners chase by 14 lengths at Punchestown last October. He then stepped up in class at the same track to prevail in the Grade Two Craddockstown Novice Chase where his stablemates Ordinary World and Attribution completed the placings in second and third respectively.
Identity Thief picked up a setback in the Grade One Racing Post Novice Chase which was won by Min. He made a mistake at the fifth fence when travelling well and was subsequently pulled up by jockey Bryan Cooper. De Bromhead later revealed his horse was lame following his error. He has though recovered well since then and should be 100% fit again for another shot at Mullins' runner at Leopardstown.
De Bromhead is also expected to saddle Some Plan next month in his bid to topple the odds-on favourite Min. His nine-year-old had just one horse to beat in his chase debut where he defeated Art of Payroll by seven lengths in Punchestown back in October.
The Irish trainer then took his novice chaser across to Cheltenham for the Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial Novices' Chase which was a Grade Two contest at the Open Meeting at Prestbury Park. Unfortunately for De Bromhead, his runner fell at the penultimate fence. Despite that mistake, connections will have been pleased with the way their horse ran at Cheltenham as he travelled well throughout and was in contention before falling to the ground in the race won by Le Prezien.
Some Plan made a return to the winner?s enclosure earlier this month at Naas where he went off 7/1 in the betting in a strong race which included American Tom and Road To Respect. The nine-year-old pecked on landing at the first fence but jockey David Mullins did well to stay on board and he reaped the reward to score by over five lengths ahead of Road To Respect who came home in second place.
The two De Bromhead horses will be both be trying to derail Min's unbeaten path to the Arkle Trophy in March at the Cheltenham Festival in what will be Mullins' star's toughest challenge over fences to date.
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