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Russell: Conditions will aid Money

Davy Russell believes the likely testing conditions will play to the strengths of Money Trix in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown tomorrow.

Russell rode the horse for the first time in the Lexus Chase over course and distance in December, where Nicky Richards' grey put up a career-best effort to finish a close second behind What A Friend.

He faces many of the same rivals in Sunday's Grade One contest and Russell is hoping a similar performance will see his mount go one place better.

"He ran a blinder in the Lexus and it's going to be another tough race on Sunday," said Russell.

"We've had plenty of rain and, I suppose, with him, the softer conditions the better as we know he stays well and he's not a speedy horse by any means.

"We got on well together the last day and I don't think we'll do a whole lot different.

"We finished ahead of Joncol and one or two others the last day and hopefully we can again, but you never know what can happen on a different day. As long as Nicky is happy with him I'm happy and we'll see what happens."

Philip Fenton says he plans to walk the track before committing Dunguib to the Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday.

Last season's Champion Bumper hero is three from three over obstacles and is already as short as even- money for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

Tomorrow's Grade One is due to be his final run before the Festival curtain-raiser on March 16, but Fenton is keen for his charge not to have too hard a race with Cheltenham on the horizon.

"Unfortunately, we've had a world of rain in the last 24 hours, which means the ground will be heavy," said Fenton.

"We could go and walk the track on Saturday evening and, if not, we'd certainly walk it bright and early on Sunday morning.

"At the moment he is running and if we could get a drying day that would be a big help. We are only just over five weeks away from Cheltenham and the last thing we'd want to do is run him over two miles and two furlongs on heavy ground.

Somersby is likely to go straight to Cheltenham after connections decided not to declare the Arkle Trophy hopeful for Doncaster on Saturday.

The promising six-year-old had been expected to run at the South Yorkshire track after being denied a run when Hereford was abandoned last Sunday."

Everything's absolutely fine, but I just decided I wasn't going to run him," said trainer Henrietta Knight.

"He may go straight to Cheltenham. I'm not worried about taking him straight there now. He's 100pc."

Somersby, unbeaten in two starts over fences and third in last season's Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Festival, is a top-priced 7/1 for the Irish Independent Arkle Trophy on March 16.


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