Mullins talks up Melon’s chances

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Trainer Willie Mullins is confident Melon’s inexperience will not be an issue when he races in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

The five-year-old is the current favourite for the first race of the Cheltenham Festival despite having just one run to date.

He made his Irish debut in January at Leopardstown and he produced a stunning display to win.

Only Flown in 1992 has won the Supreme after just one race over hurdles and Mullins is confident his charge can repeat that success.

“Melon is a horse with plenty of ability who jumps well. He’s a fine, strong, tall horse who has the ability but doesn’t have the experience,” he said.

“The form in the two-mile division is not as strong as other years. We’ll find out on the day, I suppose. Fiveforthree won the Neptune after one run and Melon has plenty of jumping experience at home. He seems a natural jumper.

“When I bought him I thought if he’s good enough he’s a Champion Hurdle horse, but looking at the size and scope of him now – he’s really grown and matured – he could easily jump fences.”

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