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This Sunday is Paddy Power Festival Trials Day at Naas and in the opening Grade 3 WhatOddsPaddy? Chase at 14:30 with Willie Mullins’ Cilaos Emery heading the market.
But trainer Noel Meade intends unleashing the progressive Daly Tiger.
The eight-year-old was last seen in action when comfortably winning the Dan & Joan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase at Fairyhouse last month at 20/1, having been well beaten at the same venue in December.
The eight-time champion Irish jumps trainer said: “The plan, at the moment, is to run Daly Tiger in the WhatOddsPaddy? Chase. We weren’t surprised about Fairyhouse last time – even though he disappointed in his last race before it, but had won at Punchestown on his second-last start.
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“We were expecting a better run at Fairyhouse and it worked very well. e’re hoping that he can up himself to Graded level now.”
The chase course is currently described as heavy for Daly Tiger, who has an entry in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
Meade continued: “He wouldn’t like it very heavy – he’s not a big horse, but he seems to handle it okay.
“The Ryanair is not in the plan, at the moment, and we’ll wait and see what happens on Sunday. Maybe the Webster Cup at Navan could be a plan, but you never know, we might have a change of heart and think about Cheltenham.”
Fellow Meath handler John McConnell has already confirmed that exciting Streets Of Doyen is all set for an Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle trial in Sunday’s feature Grade 2 Paddy Power Betting Shop Novice Hurdle at 15:00, in which he will face Meade’s Jesse Evans.
This fellow ran in the top-class Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown over Christmas, but came home almost 30 lengths adrift of the winner and Supreme Novices’ Hurdle favourite, Appreciate It.
“Jesse Evans probably will run in the Paddy Power Betting Shop Novice Hurdle although I’d be a little concerned about very heavy ground – he’s a nice horse and he’ll be all right, but very heavy might be a problem,” opined Meade.
“You’d have to say that he wasn’t up to it at Leopardstown, that’s what it looked like. This will give us an idea of where we are – the top-rated horse is 135 and other than him there’s nothing much rated higher than our horse and a couple with no rating, so we’ll see where he fits in.
“We were a bit disappointed with what he did at Leopardstown, but it was Grade 1 company and that’s what can happen.”
The five-year-old, owned by Jack Singleton, was among the entries for the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, but that race is no given.
Meade added: “He was entered in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, but we took him out – he’s entered in the County, but we’ll more likely stay at home.”
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