Mikael D'Haguenet:is now as short as 5-1 for the Ballymore Properties iPICTURE: Caroline Norris
Mikael D'Haguenet still unbeaten in Ireland
Report: Naas, Sunday
Goffs Slaney Novice Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m4f
MIKAEL D'HAGUENET further added to Willie Mullins's novice hurdle headache when proving his annihilation of early Ballymore Properties favourite Pandorama at Navan was no fluke.
Sent off the 1-3 favourite the leggy five-year-old hurdled and travelled like a professional under Ruby Walsh, riding the son of Lavirco for the first time, despite the poor pace set by Western Charmer and Clan Tara.
Asked to go on rounding the final bend, the Susannah Ricci-owned winner, tracked by The Bishop Looney, quickened up well to join issue with the two leaders and make four in line over the penultimate flight.
Four became two upon landingas The Bishop Looney disappeared almost into the stands and Western Charmer weakened but Walsh's mount quickly swept Clan Tara away to win by three and a half lengths under his Grade 1 penalty.
After training a double on the day, and his 29th of the month, the winning trainer said: "I'm delighted with how he jumped and how he quickened when he had to, but have no real plans for him.
"If I can find a nice race in February forhim I would run him, but I'm lucky enough to have a few nice horses and don't want them clashing just yet.
"The Deloitte (February 8) is an obvious race for him but I also have to consider Hurricane Fly for that. He will definitely go to Cheltenham if we get our ground but if the ground comes up quick he probably wouldn't go."
Ruby Walsh: "he's a machine"PICTURE: Caroline Norris
Double-scoring Walsh said: ""I've always liked him - I think he's a machine. He's got enough pace to win despite the fact they went no gallop. He still won on the bridle.
"When they go so slow it just gives them more time to think about their jumping which sometimes is not a good thing.
"He bends his knee abit but I'd have to ride him on good ground before I knew if he could handle it or not."
The Gigginstown Stud-owned ClanTara answered Davy Russell's urgings but proved no match for Mikael D'Haguenet and eventually lost second to the Paddy Flood-ridden Western Charmer.
William Hill shortened the winner to 6-1 (from 7) for the Ballymore Properties, while Victor Chandler went 5-1 (from 6).