Alderwood previously a winner of the Grade One Evening Herald Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown, and the County Hurdle at Cheltenahm, once again put up a gallant display to finish second to Lastoftheleaders in the rescheduled Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Steeplechase in Punchestown on Sunday.
Mullins’ charge has now being installed as the favourite for the Grand Annual Chase at Cheltenahm. He has made a fine start to his career over the larger obstacles, with a couple of good runs in defeat followed by a first chasing win at Navan. Mullins believes there is more to come from the JP McManus owned Gelding.
Alderwood is sure to be a strong contender for the Grand Annual Chase having being a previous winner at the festival. 7 of the last 11 winners of the prestigious chase had won at Cheltenham before and this year Tony Mullins hope Alderwood will fit the bill.
Mullins said: “I was really pleased with him. I thought he ran a cracker considering it was his first run in a really competitive handicap over fences.
“He’s come out of the race in good form and hopefully that run sets him up well for the big Festivals in the spring.
“I haven’t had the nod from JP (McManus, owner) or Frank (Berry) yet, but you’d imagine that (Grand Annual) would be an obvious target for him.
“He went up three pounds for his run the other day, which leaves him on 138.
“You’d like to think that he’ll keep progressing on the better ground in the spring, like he did last year.
“I’m very happy with where we are with him at the moment.”