The Cheltenham Festival is less than 48 hours away and all eyes will be on the final declarations where you can expect a surprise or two from left field.
Melon has been favourite for the Supreme Novices since dotting up on his only start in Ireland at Leopardstown in January.
Willie Mullins has trained the winner of the Supreme 3 times out of the last 4 years so it’s understandable that Mullins’s most impressive novice is now favourite for this years renewal.
So what’s this Melon? That was the question on the lips of many racing fans after been given slim quotes for the supreme novice hurdle following strong reports he was burning up the gallops of Closutton.
Melon was entered at Gowran on Thyestes day but wasn’t declared leading to speculation and questions “does he even exist? Was Melon just a made up myth?”. He made no mistake when hacking up in his maiden a few days later at Leopardstown but going into Cheltenham will that sole start be enough experience?
Mullins has 4 entered in the Supreme and Ruby Walsh will have first choice. Before Melon was even mentioned, a horse called Senewalk was reported to be Mullins’s best novice, then it was CRACK MOME.
Senewalk bombed out before Christmas and hasn’t been seen since but could Crack Mome be the forgotten horse? Prior to his debut on 8th December there was a flood of money for him for the Supreme. He appeared a big raw baby that day shaping far from impressive.
Crack Mome has taken a simular route to Vautour and Douvan, turning up favourite for the Moscow Flyer novice at Punchestown before heading to the Supreme. Things didn’t go to plan in the Moscow Flyer, they went too quick in front and he got outstayed in the finish (tacky ground).
In the last 24 hours we’ve again had a flood of money for Crack Mome (Supreme Novices ) leading to strong rumours on Twitter suggesting that Ruby Walsh will ride him on Tuesday. It’s always been documented that Crack Mome should improve for better ground and there genuine reason to believe that given his low knee action.
We’ve seen late switchs before from the Mullins camp with the likes of Champagne Fever subject to a late gamble in 2013, along with Annie Power sent to the Champion Hurdle and Vautour to the Ryanair in 2016. Are we in line for yet another big surprise on the eve of the festival and who really is Willie Mullins best 2-mile novice hurdler?
By Barry Doyle – 12/03/2017