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Hughes is at a loss to explain Tank's form

Sandra Hughes remains at a loss to explain The Tullow Tank's second disappointing effort in succession at Leopardstown on Monday.

A dual Grade One winner over hurdles last season, when trained by the now suspended Philip Fenton, the seven-year-old looked destined for big things over fences following a brilliant jumping display at Fairyhouse in early November.

However, he failed to fire when favourite for the Drinmore Novice Chase on his next appearance and was also well beaten in the Topaz Novice Chase earlier this week.

Hughes said: "He was very disappointing and we're going to have to investigate to see if there's a problem there.

"He jumped really well the first day at Fairyhouse, but he didn't jump well when he went back there. Although he wasn't as bad at Leopardstown the other day, it just wasn't him and it's not as though they went off a mad pace.

"We're just going to have to re-evaluate."

One horse who will not be in action for the yard this season is Lyreen Legend.

Not seen since finishing sixth in the Punchestown Gold Cup in April, the eight-year-old will miss the rest of the campaign through injury.

"Unfortunately, he picked up a small injury that will rule him out for four months and that means he's going to have to miss the whole season," said the County Kildare handler.

"Hopefully he'll be back in action next season."

Hughes' dual Grade One winner Lieutenant Colonel could warm up for a trip to the Cheltenham Festival by running in the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park.

The Gigginstown-owned six-year-old provided Hughes with an emotional top-level success in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse in late November, shortly after the death of her father, Dessie.

Lieutenant Colonel stepped up to three miles for the first time in the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown and once again got the better of Jetson to set up a potential tilt at the Ladbrokes World Hurdle in March.

Hughes said: "He's come out of the race fine and it goes without saying we were absolutely delighted with him on the day.

"The World Hurdle is his main aim. He could have a run in the Galmoy Hurdle in Gowran (January 22) beforehand, which would give us a good month to get him ready for Cheltenham."