Cyclone chasing Champion glory
Published 13/04/2015 | 14:56
John 'Shark' Hanlon is hoping Hidden Cyclone can show his true colours in the BoyleSports Champion Chase at Punchestown on April 28.
The 10-year-old disappointed his supporters when falling at the fifth fence after being a well-backed favourite last year.
Though he won the Boylesports Tied Cottage Chase at Punchestown in February, Hidden Cyclone turned in a below-par run in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham where he sustained a slight injury.
"Hidden Cyclone is great and Punchestown is definitely the aim," said Hanlon.
"We wanted to go to Fairyhouse with him but he wasn't quite ready after the bad cut he picked up in Cheltenham. It has healed up nicely now, though, and he is back in great old form.
"I've put a line through his run at Cheltenham. I think he hit himself jumping the second and he didn't jump well after that. He is normally a sound jumper so I would say he was feeling it.
"Two miles at Punchestown suits him well, as he proved in the Tied Cottage, and hopefully he will run another big race."
Hidden Cyclone is among 22 entries that include a strong team from the Willie Mullins' stable, among them being Un De Sceaux, Vautour, Champagne Fever and Twinlight.
Henry de Bromhead's evergreen veteran Sizing Europe could try to win the race for a third time after his victories in 2012 and 2014, while Gordon Elliott has put in his Aintree scorers Clarcam and Don Cossack.
Among five British-trained possibles is David Bridgwater's Oscar Hill, an easy handicap winner at Chepstow last time out.
"Oscar Hill is in the BoyleSports Champion Chase and will also have entries in the handicaps," said the Cheltenham handler.
"The Grade One might be flying a bit too high but we will see what is looking likely to run nearer the time."