Willie Mullins added extra spice to an already fascinating Supreme Novices’ Hurdle picture as Bring On The Night made a winning start to his jumping career at Naas.
The Cheltenham Festival opener is shaping up to be the race of the week at the big meeting, featuring as it does Nicky Henderson’s Constitution Hill and Jonbon plus the Mullins-trained Dysart Dynamo among many others.
Having his first run for Mullins having been off for 644 days since winning on the Flat in France, where he was trained by Andre Fabre, the Joe Donnelly-owned son of Gleneagles was a stylish scorer as the 5-6 favourite in division two of the Festival Trials Day Maiden Hurdle, despite not being fluent at the last.
Mullins said: “I’ve had him a long time, he had a setback last year and we never got him to the track. He is in the Supreme Novices’ and could easily go there.
“We said if he was going to make it, he had to go today and be good enough. We think he’ll improve a fair bit from that.
“He has to brush up on his jumping a bit, but I think he will as he jumps better at home. He is a 90-plus rated horse on the Flat, but Paul (Townend) said he knew well how to jump – he said he knew his job once he got him down to gallop.
“Marie and Joe (Donnelly) have State Man in the Supreme as well, maybe we’ll run the two or find another option for State Man as this horse has no other options.
“We think he is a good sort and will make a great dual-purpose horse. We could appear back on the Flat with him during the summer.”
Betfair cut Bring On The Night to 20-1 from 33-1 for Cheltenham.