The Willie Mullins trained gelding is declared in the runners for the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park so I thought this might be a good time to set up a page for him and have a look at his record and prospects in a bit of detail and then open it up to our readers for their thoughts.
Arbor Supreme won a bumper at Leopardstown on his debut in January 2007 and it was after that run that he was purchased by JP McManus. Two subsequent runs over hurdles failed to add to his tally of wins and he returned in the 07/08 season ready to tackle the larger obstacles. His first four runs over fences were at distances up to 2m 5f and it was only when stepped up to 28furlongs and into handicap company for the first time was there the true indications of what Arbor Supreme might become. That race was the Punchestown Grand National trial and the young Mullins horse ran well to finish second to Chelsea Harbour.
The 08/09 season began as the previous one had ended with a victory, this time at Fairyhouse over 3m 5f. At that point, anything seemed possible for the son of Supreme Leader but in five subsequent runs he has failed to finish better than third.
So, from a plus point, he has age on his side, stamina proven at up to 30 furlongs, victories on ground ranging from good to soft/heavy, a top-class trainer, he would probably be set to carry a weight in the low to middle ten stone range if he retains his current handicap mark, he has an owner who is very keen to win the Grand National and possibly the services of AP McCoy in the saddle if he does go to Aintree.
The negatives could be that his two main handicap wins have come at right-handed courses, he has yet to travel outside of Ireland, he possibly could have hit his handicap ceiling at around 140, his trainer seems reluctant (as far as I am aware) to commit him to the Grand National and may prefer the Irish National earlier the same week as Aintree.