X

Sunday 18
August

Horse Racing

Mullins unsure on Melon struggles

3rd February 2019, 14:59 by Gareth Freeman

Willie Mullins says he can find "no apparent reason" for Melon's recent struggles after a poor showing in the Irish Champion Hurdle.

Melon finished a close second in the Champion Hurdle at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival behind Buveur D'Air in March but has failed to impress in two races so far this season.

Mullins' charge came in fourth in the Ryanair Hurdle in December and on Saturday finished over 21 lengths behind winner Apple's Jade at Leopardstown.

The trainer is at a loss to explain Melon's struggles, although he admits even on top form a win may have been out of reach in the Irish Champion Hurdle given Apple's Jade's excellent performance.

"He was disappointing. He was never going and I can't find anything wrong with him. That's two bad runs now for no apparent reason," said Mullins, as reported by Sky Sports.

"We've changed a lot of things with him at home and worked him differently.

"I wonder at this stage does he need to go out in trip or is he looking for a fence.

"I think he's still not in form. His homework looks good but his racetrack work doesn't. Maybe it's ground, maybe he's better on much softer, we'll see.

"He ran a cracker at Cheltenham last year but I don't think we've had him back to that on the racetrack.

"We thought he was working really well at home but he's gone out and disappointed really badly.

"The mare [Apple's Jade] was fantastic. We could have run a lot better and still been behind the mare. It would have been hard to beat her even if we were right. She was very very good."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Gareth Freeman is an experienced journalist who can offer in-depth knowledge on a host of sports, especially football, tennis, snooker and basketball.

More Horse Racing

Horse Racing

Glorious Journey set for Group One chance

17th August 2019, 19:08

Glorious Journey could be handed a Group One chance following his victory in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury.

Horse Racing

Arizona ready for Deauville test

17th August 2019, 18:48

Trainer Aidan O'Brien believes Arizona is in "good form" ahead of the renewal of the Darley Prix Morny at Deauville on Sunday.

Horse Racing

Advertise set for September action

16th August 2019, 16:30

Advertise looks set to be handed the chance to claim a third Group One success of the season in the Sprint Cup at Haydock on September 7.

Horse Racing

Top duo to do battle at York

16th August 2019, 16:09

Magical and Enable are being lined up for another head-to-head clash in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks next Thursday.

Horse Racing

Dubawi Fifty doubt for Ebor

15th August 2019, 17:39

Karen McLintock hopes Dubawi Fifty will be able to contest the Ebor at York but has an alternative target in mind.

Horse Racing

Sir Dragonet set for Curragh return

15th August 2019, 17:35

Sir Dragonet is in line for a first appearance since June in the Group Three Royal Whip Stakes at the Curragh on Friday.

Recent Sport Headlines

Cricket

Lord's braced for final day thriller

17th August 2019, 19:56

England will take a 104-run lead into the final day of the second Ashes Test with the result at Lord's remaining firmly in the balance.

Horse Racing

Glorious Journey set for Group One chance

17th August 2019, 19:08

Glorious Journey could be handed a Group One chance following his victory in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury.

Horse Racing

Arizona ready for Deauville test

17th August 2019, 18:48

Trainer Aidan O'Brien believes Arizona is in "good form" ahead of the renewal of the Darley Prix Morny at Deauville on Sunday.

Golf

Pieters leads the way in Prague

17th August 2019, 18:30

Thomas Pieters will take a one-shot into the final round of the Czech Masters after carding a round of 66 on Saturday.

Rugby Union

Wales top rankings after seeing off England

17th August 2019, 18:09

Wales will move to the top of the world rankings for the first time on Monday after seeing off England 13-6 on Saturday.

Liverpool

Southampton 1-2 Liverpool

17th August 2019, 17:48

Liverpool maintained their winning start to the new Premier League season with a slender 2-1 win against Southampton at St Mary’s.

Aston Villa

Aston Villa 1-2 Bournemouth

17th August 2019, 17:48

Aston Villa have started the new season with back-to-back defeats after Bournemouth claimed a 2-1 triumph at Villa Park on Saturday.

West Ham United

Brighton 1-1 West Ham

17th August 2019, 17:48

West Ham picked up their first point of the new Premier League season after holding Brighton to a 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium.