Alderwood up and running over fences
Report: Navan, Sunday
Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase 5yo+, 2m1f
GRADE 1-winning hurdler Alderwood was made to work hard to get off the mark over fences at the third attempt in the beginners chase at Navan.
In foggy conditions, the Tom Mullins-trained 8-11 favourite appeared from the gloom locked in a battle with main market rival Prima Vista approaching the final fence.
Despite having a length to find close home, Mark Walsh got the desired respond as Alderwood finished his race strongly to notch his first chase success.
With Alderwood finishing last season with victories in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham, in a Grade 2 hurdle at Fairyhouse and in the Champion Novice Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival, his prowess in the big spring races is proven.
As such BetVictor took action in a couple of their ante-post markets cutting the winner to 25-1 (from 40) for the Arkle and from 12-1 (from 14) for the Grand Annual, with Mullins hinting after the race the handicap route may be the way to go.
"The ground was more testing than he wanted," he said. "We'll try and keep him now to better ground and he might run in a handicap between now and Cheltenham. He's probably more of a Cheltenham handicap horse rather than an Arkle horse."