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Pont Alexandre: the general 5-2 favourite for the Neptune at CheltenhamPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Mullins: better ground not a worry for Pont
PONT ALEXANDRE, twice a winner on testing ground this season, will have no problems with a sounder surface in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, according to trainer Willie Mullins.
The five-year-old, who is owned by Rich Ricci and his wife Susannah, hacked up on his first start for Mullins on heavy ground in the Grade 1 Navan Novice Hurdle in December.
He looked equally as impressive when strolling home in a Grade 2 at Leopardstown in January in conditions described as soft to heavy and is the general 5-2 favourite for the Neptune.
"This race is Pont Alexandre's target," said Mullins, quoted in an ante-post Pricewise special on the Grade 1 in Tuesday's Racing Post.
"He's done everything right and showed plenty of pace as well as stamina when winning at Leopardstown last time."
Mullins, who won the race with Fiveforthree in 2008 and a year later with the Ricci-owned Mikael D'Haguenet, added: "He has shown he handles testing ground well, but we feel better ground won't present a problem for him."
Read Tom Segal's ante-post Pricewise advice on the Neptune in Tuesday's Racing Post - download the digital edition or get the Post on your iPad