Talking Horses: Dreal Deal lives up to billing in boost to Cheltenham hopes

Ronan McNally’s gelding defied drifting odds with a rapid finish in the Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at Punchestown

Dreal Deal’s swift and occasionally controversial rise through the ranks continued on Sunday, as he passed all six of his rivals in the home straight to win the Grade Two Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at Punchestown, establishing himself as a live 16-1 chance for Cheltenham’s Supreme Novice Hurdle.

Ronan McNally’s gelding first attracted attention when he won a handicap hurdle at Navan in September off a mark of 84, having been backed in from 20-1 to 6-4 favourite. He then won two handicaps on the Flat (off 45 and 51) before adding two more handicap hurdles from official marks of 106 and 111, starting at odds-on each time.

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