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Petit Mouchoir is getting plenty of weight from Bapaume in this conditions hurdle and could finally get his head back in front for the Cullentea House team at Cork on Easter Sunday. The 10-year-old has been racing well behind Sharjah, Honeysuckle, Jason The Militant and Belfast Banter this season. Jordan Gainford once again takes off his valuable seven pounds following his runner-up spot in the McCoy County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last month.
The drying ground should also help his cause and it would be fantastic to see the former Irish Champion hurdle winner back in the winners enclosure today.
I fancied Thedevilscoachman to run well in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, so I’m hopeful the decision to miss the Festival will prove fruitful for connections in this Grade two Novice Hurdle. The Noel Meade trained five-year-old finished fifth to Appreciate It at Leopardstown over Christmas before travelling nicely and producing a nice turn off foot to win at Navan and Punchestown earlier this year.
Willie Mullins has dominated this race in recent years and runs Echoes In Rain, Grand Bornand and M C Muldoon, but hopefully all will be playing for minor prize-money behind the JP McManus owned runner.
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Several of these mares do battle again having clashed in the Dawn Run novices hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last month. Paul Townend has decided to stay with Gaulosie from the Mullins runners despite finishing behind Skyace, Glens Of Antrim and Roseys Hollow at Prestbury Park.
However, Atlantic Fairy looks the improver to hand both Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore with another Grade one prize this season. The daughter of Jeremy showed she had both the speed and stamina when scoring at Limerick and Navan and she can benefit from not paying a visit to Cheltenham.
Spyglass Hill was fancied by some for the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park back in January before finishing sixth for Henry de Bromhead in the Kilkenny showpiece. He’s been one of those horses who looked to have the potential to improve from novice company and land a nice handicap. However, he was pulled-up twice in both the Galway Plate and Kerry National last year before completing in his last three starts.
His novice victory at Gowran last season has nice form about it and he can finally return to winning ways in this conditions chase. It looks a good opportunity for the eight-year-old with the step-up in trip looking a positive following his third to Bachasson last month.
Andy Dufresne is another horse who can benefit from not travelling to Cheltenham this season to secure victory in the feature Grade One at Fairyhouse on Easter Sunday. The Denise Foster trained seven-year-old was a good novice hurdler and is lightly raced over fences with just three starts. He got his chasing career off the mark with success at Wexford before following up at Navan and finishing a good third to Monkfish at Leopardstown in February.
There’s plenty of improvement to come over fences and he could outsmart both Franco De Port and Asterion Forlonge today. Mark Walsh has once again sided against Janidill, while Conflated and Scarlet And Dove are nice contenders for the Gigginstown team.
A chance is taking with Largy Fix for the Mouse Morris and Robcour team in this closing bumper at Cork on Sunday afternoon. It’s a first start under National Hunt Rules for the son of Notnowcato who has not been seen in public in nearly two years. However, the six-year-old did manage to beat The Bosses Oscar in his point-to-point victory at Loughanmore, with the second developing into a nice staying hurdler for the Cullentra House team.
Morris has secured several nice winners for Robcour this season, including Gentlemansgame, French Dynamite and Indianna Jones and this closing bumper doesn’t look the strongest of races.
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