Marine Nationale© Photo Healy Racing
Marine Nationale is on course for Sunday's Bar One Racing Grade 1 Royal Bond Hurdle at Fairyhouse where the Barry Connell owned and trained gelding puts his unbeaten record on the line.
The French bred five year old won two summer bumpers at Punchestown and Killarney and having made a winning jumps debut, again at Punchestown, in October, connections are now stepping him to top-level company for the first time.
Jockey Michael O'Sullivan has won all three races on the son of French Navy and says “I've ridden him in three races now and have won on him three times so there aren't many horses I can say that about. We are really looking forward to him, he seems in good shape.
“He seems to do everything so easily so far but obviously it is a big step up. We are stepping into the unknown running him in Grade 1 company after having only one hurdle run so a nice run and we'll be happy. It is a good experience for him and I suppose we will know where we stand with how good he is.
“I can't fault him on what he has done so far, he travels very easy and won very easily on all his starts. He jumped very well on his first start over hurdles, he is vert straightforward and is a great ride and I'm very much looking forward to him.”