Willie Mullins’ Arkle Trophy hope Royal Alphabet is set to have his second run over fences in a Grade Three contest at Naas this Saturday.
The six-year-old put up an exhibition round of jumping to score by an easy six lengths on his chasing bow at Thurles last month, having proved his mettle over timber last season.
After his facile beginners’ chase success, the gelding will now tackle a potentially high-class field in the two-mile Woodlands Park 100 Popular Square Steeplechase.
“The plan is to run him and he seems to be in very good order,” Mullins said today. “I was very pleased with his last run, he jumped very quickly and won nicely.”
After landing a Grade Two event in April, Royal Alphabet went onto finish third to Brave Inca in the Champion Novice Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival.
“He proved himself over hurdles last year and we thought we’d put him over fences this season to see if they suited him and if he would take to them - which he seems to be doing,” Mullins continued.
“At the moment the Arkle would be the long-term plan, but I’m not sure how we might get there. I will leave options open so I can chop and change.”