Mullins-Ricci novice hurdler set for Punchestown showdown with redemption-seeking Mengli Khan
A high quality race.
Willie Mullins' 6-year-old Getabird will take on Gordon Elliot's highly rated Mengli Khan in the Grade 2 Sky Bet Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle in Punchestown at 2.10 on Saturday.
The Clonsutton handler has a supreme record in this race, with Douvan and Vautour landing the spoils in renewals past. The race proved the perfect preparation for these horses, as they went on to win the Supreme Novices' hurdle race in Cheltenham in its aftermath.
Min also claimed victory in the race in 2016, before coming up narrowly short behind Altior in the festival opener in March.
No trainer comes close to Mullins' recent record in this race, with four of the last five renewals going the way of the champion handler.
Will history repeat itself with another Mullins/Ricci horse impressing in Punchestown before going onto take the glory in Pretsbury Park?
Getabird is priced at 6/4 for the most competitive race in Ireland this weekend, but he will have work cut out against the race's 11/10 favourite Mengli Khan.
If you fancy trends of recent history, Getabird might be worth a bet for the Supreme Novices' at 8-1 with most bookmakers on a Non-Runner no bet deal.
Davy Russell will be wary taking the ride on the Gigginstown horse, given the quick land previous rider Jack Kennedy was given when the horse went out through the wing of the fence in the Leopardstown Christmas festival in December.
It's a quick turnaround for Elliot's charge, who has undoubted potential as shown by his 100% strike rate in three races this season up to that blemish.
Connections will be keen to get the horse back on track and this race offers the perfect opportunity.
It's not just a two-horse race, with Mullins' second string Carter McKay also an impressive sort. The horse who went off the second favourite for last year's Champion bumper has already shown signs of maturity this year, coasting to victory in a Gowran Park Maiden Hurdle.
It promises to be a revealing race. We will know all by 2.20 tomorrow.