With less than two months to the Cheltenham Festival many will either have their, ‘muggy accas,’ all sorted out, or they’ll be filing through the potential candidates for each race and whittling down to their four or five, ‘good things,’ for the week.
It wouldn’t be Cheltenham without a Willie Mullins or Rich Ricci hype horse, with this year being no different the one on everybody’s lips is French import, ‘Melon.’ Making his racecourse debut this side of the channel in the 1:30pm two mile maiden hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday. All eyes will be on the much talked about horse in the anticipation we can add another interesting animal to the line up of the opening race of Cheltenham 2017.
So what do we know about Melon? The answer is, not a great deal. A four year old gelding who has run just four times on the flat over in France. This huge frame of a horse seems to really find his stride towards the end of the race, leading us to think he’ll relish the step up in trip tomorrow.
Melon is huge and I mean huge, given his size there should be little concern about the transition from the flat to hurdles, and potentially chasing further down the line dependant on his performance this season.
Superstar horse Douvan, winning the Supreme Novices Hurdle with Ruby Walsh on board in 2015.
We all recall last years Mullins’ main shot for the Supreme in the form of Min, who didn’t disgrace himself in the race over hurdles after coming second to a very good Altior and now sits second favourite for the Arkle this year behind his same, superior rival of 2016. Do you think Melon could go one better for the Mullins team and co? They have a fantastic record in the race and Mullins isn’t exactly known for working with poor horses.
By Sunday afternoon we will know a little more about Melon’s chances, the Supreme does seem somewhat open this year with the impressive Moon Racer heading the market at a best price of 11/2, with Melon currently best odds 12/1 for the same race it’s not hard to image him going off considerably shorter on the opening day of The Festival should he run, it might be worth backing him each way on the basis he runs well this weekend.