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.
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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.”Copyright © 2022 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.