WILLIE MULLINS can enjoy a double at the first meeting of the year at Ballinrobe tonight with Apt Approach and Citizen Vic.
Apt Approach gets the nap to step up in class in the McGrath Quarry Group Hurdle.
A smart performer in bumpers, he finished a creditable sixth behind Cousin Vinny at last year’s Cheltenham Festival.
He has only run once this season, reappearing at Fairyhouse last month when starting at 2-9 to win his maiden.
The six-year-old justified the cramped odds with the minimum of fuss, making a lot of the running and cruising home 11 lengths to the good.
This is altogether a stiffer test, but the selection looks a horse with a future and is fancied to come through it with reputation enhanced.
Citizen Vic would surely prefer a longer trip than two miles, but still gets the vote in the Western People Maiden Hurdle.
Successful in a Fairyhouse bumper, he had his first outing over jumps in a two miles and three furlongs maiden at Cork.
Mullins’ charge stayed on doggedly in the closing stages to be beaten a head by Carrigeen King and we can surely expect plenty of use to be made of him now.
The Andrew Heffernan-trained Golden Empire is the one to beat in the Roundfort Stores Beginners Chase.
He was three and a half lengths second to Stewarts House at Gowran Park last time and a repeat of that effort will see him at least go close.
Johnnyofcourse, a creditable second behind the smart Dundrum over hurdles at Down Royal, gets preference in the Bumper.
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