Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Alderwood set for chasing campaign

Alderwood
Alderwood

Tom Mullins is excited about seeing his Grade One-winning hurdler Alderwood go down the novice chase route this season.

The JP McManus-owned eight-year-old enjoyed a dream end to the last campaign, winning the County Hurdle at Cheltenham, a Grade Two at Fairyhouse and the Grade One Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown to complete a fantastic hat-trick.

Mullins reports his charge to have returned from his summer break stronger than ever and can see no reason why he should not be just as effective over the larger obstacles.

"He's back working away and he'll start schooling next week hopefully. If that goes well, the plan is to go straight over fences with him," said Mullins.

"He improved all through last season, it was incredible really. I couldn't believe he could come back an even stronger horse, but I think he has actually, so we have to be optimistic for this season. He won his Grade One in Punchestown over two miles, so I'd say we'll start off over shorter trips, two miles or two and a quarter.

"We can go up to two and a half or three miles if we need to, but we'll start off over shorter and see how we get on. Anyone who has ever ridden him always said he'd make a lovely chaser, so hopefully he does and he's versatile ground-wise."

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