Trainer/owner Barry Connell looks to have a superstar on his hands with Marine Nationale after the gelding landed the first Grade One of his career at Fairyhouse in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle.
The five year old has been seen four times in his career, making his debut at Punchestown in May this year when winning a 2m bumper in good fashion ahead of Demandrivingdouvan and Halibut who both went on to frank the form.
Given another run in a bumper at Killarney in August he was another nice winner this time by a further 11 lengths and now it was time to go over hurdles.
With four horses swinging the corner for home on the bridle, jumping the last it was Marine Nationale and Irish Point left battling it out and just in front of the posts, the Barry Connell gelding got up to land his first Grade One Success.
The form of that race has worked out well with Champ Kiely, Irish Point and Ashroe Diamond all going on to win or run well in Gradee company.
With all systems go to the Supreme in March and being kept fresh since that win the Royal Bond, at 4/1, with the uncertainty in the horses in the betting market around him, he looks a solid bet to go close.