Bellshill to strengthen Cheltenham claims
Published 03/01/2016 | 02:30
Bellshill should continue his ascent through the ranks by claiming the Lawlor's Hotel Novice Hurdle at Naas.
Willie Mullins has saddled five of the last 10 winners of what is now a Grade One event and while Stone Hard is by no means without a chance, Bellshill appears the stable's number one hope.
Runner-up to Barters Hill at Aintree before rounding off his bumper campaign with victory at Punchestown, the six-year-old bolted up on his hurdling debut at Cork and was just as impressive when stepped up in grade in the Navan Novice Hurdle three weeks ago.
With the demanding conditions of no concern, it would be a surprise if he does not further strengthen his position as ante-post favourite for the Neptune at the Cheltenham Festival.
Unheralded Devon trainer Polly Gundry can claim a significant prize at Plumpton if Dawson City does what is expected of him. The At The Races Sussex National will not be for the faint-hearted, with an extended three-and-a-half miles in bottomless ground awaiting the field.
But race conditions should play to the strengths of Dawson City, which won as he liked at this track over hurdles last January.
He was outclassed in a very hot race at Exeter on his chasing debut, but fared better when switched to handicap company at Chepstow a month ago until he was badly hampered by a loose horse and unseated Andrew Thornton.
Sunday Indo Sport