MINELLA COCOONER built on a promising hurdle debut to justify favouritism in Saturday’s maiden hurdle at Navan.

An impressive 10 length winner of a bumper on his first start for Willie Mullins, the Killeen Glebe graduate finished second on return last month and stepped up to two and a half miles at Navan. Chasing the leaders under Paul Townend, the son of Flemensfirth travelled smoothly into the lead at the third last and soon went clear. He won by six and a half lengths with minimum fuss.

Speaking after the race, Townend commented, “Minella Cocooner had the benefit of his Cork run and he’s maturing the whole time. He’s a real galloper and we will see the best of him when he jumps a fence.”

Minella Cooconer is owned by David Bobbett, having been purchased privately after a debut second in a four-year-old maiden for John Nallen. He was sold by Killeen Glebe through Limekiln Stud at the Goffs Land Rover Sale.