Johnny Ward reporting from Leopardstown:
The unbeaten Asterion Forlonge produced a devastating display in the €150,000 Chanelle Pharma Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown, providing Willie Mullins with a second Grade 1 success at the Dublin Racing Festival.
Given a positive ride by Danny Mullins, the grey was in control from the turn in to the straight, with hot favourite Easywork unable to make any impression, and bookmakers were compelled to slash his odds for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle from 16/1 into 9/2.
It was a race that involved precious few. Asterion Forlonge was disputing with Easywork but Mullins' runner got the better of that battle from the second-last, with the winner's stablemate Mt Leinster unable to make any real impression after nearly falling at the second-last under Paul Townend.
"That was a proper good performance and he picked up well in the straight," said the winning rider, a nephew of the winning trainer. "He'd remind you a bit of Champagne Fever. We need to step up a bit to get to his level. He jumped a bit right early on, later on a bit left, but his gallop was strong when you needed him."
The trainer added: “He’s surprised me, I had him down as a two-and-three-quarter-mile or three-mile horse but it looks like I’m wrong. He looks like a two-miler and he is a horse with a ggreat cruising speed who covers a huge amount of ground.
“I told Danny to go out and make the running. I told him he wasn’t making the running for my other horses I told him he was making his own running and to try and get the fractions right.
"I suppose now we have to look at him as a Supreme Novices horse. That was the furtherest thing from my mind a few weeks ago but he’s a horse that we have always liked at home."
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