Carberry to take reins for Hourigan in New Story raid
Nina Carberry travels to Le Lion-d'Angers in France today to ride the Michael Hourigan-trained A New Story in the Prix Anjou-Loire Challenge -- the longest cross-country race in the world.
The contest, worth €112,000, takes place over an extended four and a half miles and is the fourth race in the Crystal Cup Cross-Country Challenge.
The race has attracted five Irish and British runners -- last year's winner Another Jewel (Denis Murphy, Ireland -- John Cullen), A New Story (Michael Hourigan, Ireland -- Nina Carberry), Maljimar (Nick Williams, Britain -- James Reveley) and Pass Me By (Suzy Smith, Britain -- Angelo Gasnier).
"He's travelled over all right and we're really looking forward to it," said Hourigan from France.
"I haven't yet seen the course, apart from on tape, but I think there's only 12 or 13 runners and the prize money is very good.
"It's a long race, but the horse is very well. We've got Nina riding him, as my usual jockey (Adrian Heskin) is out of action for a few months."
The 2010 Prix Anjou-Loire Challenge went to Another Jewel by two and a half lengths on soft ground and he finished the year as the leading horse in the inaugural Crystal Cup series.
Another Jewel was triumphant at the Punchestown Festival last month, narrowly beating Let the Show Begin in the La Touche Cup, the third race in the 10-race series.
The Crystal Cup series culminates at Cheltenham racecourse on December 9, when the leading trainer and owner of the series will be awarded the Crystal Cup and share €40,000 in prize money.
Meanwhile, Edward Lynam reports Sole Power to be in tip-top form ahead of the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The speedster, which showed his dash with victory over a high-quality field in the Group Two Temple Stakes at Haydock recently, goes for a second success at the highest level after a shock 100/1 victory in the Nunthorpe at York in August.
"He's in very good form. He's come out of Haydock well and, all going well, he'll go to Ascot for the King's Stand," said Meath-based Lynam.
"I'm hoping the course there will suit him. It's definitely not as dippy or as undulating as Newmarket. Fingers crossed he'll be able to perform the same at Ascot."
Slade Power, which runs in the same colours, is due to return to The Curragh for another six-furlong maiden after showing plenty of promise when second to the Aidan O'Brien-trained Reply on his debut.
"He's a horse we like a lot and he'll probably return to the track for a six-furlong maiden on Derby day at The Curragh," Lynam said.
"It was a particularly good run for one of mine first time. We were very pleased with it. It's done him the world of good and brought him on," he added.