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Shark's on the attack


Shark Hanlon's Hidden Cyclone. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / Sportsfile

Shark Hanlon's Hidden Cyclone. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / Sportsfile

Shark Hanlon's Hidden Cyclone. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / Sportsfile

DESPITE making multiple entries for Ascot and Haydock tomorrow afternoon, Willie Mullins will have no runners across the water this weekend as he focuses his attention on Naas and Fairyhouse, but Henry de Bromhead and Shark Hanlon will be represented in the Grade One Clarence House Chase at Ascot.

The sight of Mullins featuring heavily at the showcase meetings of the week in the UK has become a familiar one since back in November, but he has opted against running any of the eight horses he had made entries for with some going to Naas tomorrow instead.

Two Irish runners have travelled over, though, with Days Hotel representing Henry de Bromhead, while Shark Hanlon's Hidden Cyclone will attempt to finally achieve the Grade One he came so close to at Leopardstown over Christmas.

A lengthy stewards enquiry followed the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet won by Benefficient and when Hanlon's stable star failed to be promoted on the afternoon, he took the matter to the next step, but the result stood after a Turf Club hearing.

Hanlon was adamant that Hidden Cyclone suffered enough interference to cost him the race but the Carlow-based trainer is putting that behind him now and hoping that it will just be a distant memory by 4 o'clock tomorrow afternoon. "We'd like to put the last right," Hanlon told the Herald yesterday.

"It's water under the bridge now but hopefully he is able to go on and win a Grade One over there and if he does sure he will have to go to Cheltenham.

"He left on Thursday after doing a nice bit of work on Tuesday and I think the ground will suit him as it's gone soft to heavy and he's in great form."


With Hidden Cyclone the current third favourite, Hanlon is hopeful that he can finally bridge the gap and claim a Grade One success.

"The form of his last two runs, his run at Cheltenham and his run at Leopardstown, are both very good. Cheltenham was probably too far from him as it was two-miles-and-five, and had it have been two-mile-and-one that day we'd have nearly won the Paddy Power.

"I think the trip on Saturday is right and I think the ground is right and the horse is in great form so after that it's all a bit of luck we want."

De Bromhead has secured the services of Richard Johnson for Days Hotel as Andrew Lynch will be at Naas where Sizing Gold is the pick of his rides in the Woodlands Novice Chase and the trainer is happy to be taking on Sire De Grugy.

"I'm looking forward to running him and hoping he will give a good account of himself," De Bromhead said.

Days Hotel was last seen when finishing third in the Hilly Way Chase at Cork behind Twinlight, but prior to that had given Flemenstar a rattle in the Fortria at Navan and a repeat of that effort is likely to have him bang there tomorrow.

"A couple of things showed up after his run at Cork and we have fixed those up and he seems in good form so I think the race will suit him. The soft ground he will love and it's the first time he is getting that this year so that's good."

De Bromhead concluded: "We will see how tomorrow goes before we make another plan but wouldn't Saturday be a good enough plan if it goes right ... We'll see how it goes."

Looking ahead to the weekend at Thurles yesterday, Mullins told the Herald: "I will have no runners at all in England this week. I could run two or three in the Limestone Lad Hurdle but neither The Paparrazi Kid or Mozoltov will run in the novice chase."