Exciting Minsk will be closely watched on hurdles debut


Jockey Bryan Cooper is eagerly looking forward to the hurdling debut of the highly-touted Minsk in the Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Saturday.

The former John Oxx inmate is at the head of the betting for the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham, without having jumped a hurdle in public, due to the progress he showed at the end of the last Flat season.

Reports emanating from out of his new trainer Dessie Hughes’ yard suggest he has take to hurdling like a duck to water.

His regular jockey is as excited as anyone about his initial run over hurdles.

Cooper said: “I’m looking forward to it, ever since he won that day at the Curragh, it’s been a long enough wait.

“He’s schooled well so hopefully he’ll put up a good performance. I’ve done all the schooling on him, he’s quite quick and has learned how to pop and fill himself out when he makes a mistake.

“He’s going to have to beat them if he’s to justify favouritism for the Triumph but if he brings his form from that day at the Curragh I’d imagine he’ll give them a fair rattle. I’ve not ridden many that work like him,” he told At The Races.