December Navan Novice Hurdle 2012 : Pont Alexandre
Mon, Dec 17th, 2012
The 2012 December Navan Hurdle produced a shock when the much touted Don Cossack was soundly defeated by a newcomer for the powerful Mullins/Walsh/Ricci axis in Pont Alexandre.
The winner is now favourite for the Neptune Investment Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Willie Mullins speaking after the race commented:
I bought him during the summer and I just fell in love with him the first day I saw him. We paid a lot for him but I was very bullish that I wanted him. He wasn't showing me anything until about three weeks ago and we decided to come here and take our chance. He looks an exciting prospect and a chaser in the making. I'd say that's probably the first time I've pitched a novice straight into a Grade 1 but that's how much I think of him. The obvious race for him is at Naas in January (Slaney Hurdle) but Champagne Fever may go there and we could look further down the line.
Rubt Walsh added:
He was doing things nicely at home but it's always a worry first time over these hurdles and with him not having run in so long it's always a worry in a Grade 1. It was a good performance. In fairness to Willie he stuck his neck out to buy him and I'd say it was a good call.We were going a good old gallop as he stays well at home. He'll be a lovely chaser. It was a brave decision to run him here. I was thinking a winners' of one would be lovely.Rich and Willie probably thought that if Don Cossack beat him – so be it – it would still be a lovely run."