• Racing/
  • Fever Set For Champagne Clash

Herald Champion Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m

  • (5yo+, 2m, Class 1, 6 runners)
  • Winner €49,600 2nd €15,200 3rd €7,200 4th €2,400 5th €1,600
  • Going: Soft, Heavy in places
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 4m 10.60s
  • Off time: 16:20:29
Full result
Result 16:20 Punchestown
Pos Horse Distance/th> Odds
1st 3 Jezki 2/1
2nd 6 Ted Veale 16 12/1
  • Last Updated: April 22 2013, 17:31 BST

Willie Mullins believes Champagne Fever's previous experience of running at the Punchestown Festival will stand him in good stead for Tuesday's Herald Champion Novice Hurdle.

Champagne Fever: Heads the Champion Novice field
Champagne Fever: Heads the Champion Novice field

Winner of the championship bumpers at Cheltenham and Punchestown last spring, the six-year-old is aiming to complete another significant Festival double after making all of the running in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle in March.

The champion trainer also gave his grey the option of running over longer distances later this week, but has decided to stick at the minimum distance.

Mullins said: "He won here last year and we know he likes the course, which I think is a big advantage. This will probably be the softest of the ground so we were happy enough to stick to two miles with him.

"He seems to have been in good form since Cheltenham. I'm very happy with him."

Beaten a little under three lengths by Champagne Fever in the Supreme was the Jessica Harrington-trained Jezki, who turns up for a rematch.

The five-year-old had previously won each of his first four starts over hurdles and beat the Mullins runner in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse in December.

Harrington said: "He seems in good form and I've been very happy with him since the Supreme. He schooled this morning and we were delighted with him.

"The ground is what it is and I don't think it will bother him too much. Champagne Fever beat us last time and we beat him earlier in the season, so the score is 1-1."

Rule The World is a fascinating contender for Mouse Morris, having chased home The New One in the two-mile-five-furlong Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham last month.

The Fethard handler is not worried about coming back to the in trip given the prospect of testing ground.

Morris said: "He's been fine since Cheltenham and the ground really made up our minds as to which race to run in. On ground like this, I think two miles is plenty far enough.

"He seems in good fettle. We've probably got the two that ran in the Supreme to beat, but we may as well take our chance."

Art Of Logistics has won twice from three starts over hurdles, but has upwards of 20lb to find with the principals.

Trainer Dessie Hughes said: "He was due to go to Aintree but unfortunately he got a colic just beforehand, which was disappointing as the ground and everything would have been perfect for him.

"This looks a very competitive race and the ground will be deep, which isn't ideal for him, but there's nothing else for him to run in and we'll let him take his chance. Hopefully he'll run a nice race."

Tony Martin's County Hurdle scorer Ted Veale reverts to novice company, with the six-runner field completed by Tim Doyle's stable star Mallowney.


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