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Voler’s high aim

COLM MURPHY'S star mare Voler La Vedette will bid for a first Grade One victory in the Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Sunday.

The 11-time winner was hugely impressive on her recent seasonal return in Navan's Lismullen Hurdle and Murphy is looking forward to seeing her step up to the highest level.

“I was absolutely delighted with her and delighted with the manner in which she did it,” said the trainer.

“She's a very good mare and I'd like to think she'll come on for it plenty as well.

“All going well, she'll probably run next weekend in the Hatton's Grace. There'll be no hiding places, but we look forward to it.

“She ran well to finish third last year behind Hurricane Fly, so you'd hope she'll go there with every chance.”

The Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown remains the next objective for Murphy's star two-mile chaser Big Zeb.

The 10-year-old looked as good as ever when landing the Fortria Chase earlier this month.

“We were delighted with his win in Navan and the plan is for him to go straight to Leopardstown at Christmas,” said Murphy. “I'd imagine we'll follow a similar route to last season, but we'll get the race at Christmas out of the way first.”

RUBY WALSH had to give up his final ride at Navan after twice hitting the deck and having one of his mounts fall on top of him. But the jockey will be in action on Friday at the latest, according to his agent (and sister), Jennifer.

“He's just generally sore,” she said. “He had a fall on Lochan Lacha and another on Benefficient. He rode in the Troytown but then his last ride was in a beginners' chase and you don't need another fall in a race like that when you're already sore.”

Walsh gave up three rides at Newbury last Friday after one of his mounts fell and then scrambled over him, kicking the jockey so hard that his crash helmet was dislodged.

He was later seen pressing an ice pack to the back of his head but recovered to ride three winners at the same course on Saturday, including Big Buck's in the Long Distance Hurdle.

Yesterday proved less productive. In consecutive races Walsh was unseated from two hurdlers trained by Tony Martin, on the second occasion landing in front of Benefficient, his erstwhile mount, who tripped over the rider and flopped on top of him.

Half an hour later Walsh showed no ill effects when partnering Prince De Beauchene into fifth place in the Troytown Chase, but called it a day at that point.

“I don't think Paul (Nicholls) needs him for much early in the week and we've no jump racing in Ireland until Saturday now,” Jennifer Walsh said. “He'll definitely be in Sandown on Friday and Saturday.”

Walsh is likely to partner Tataniano in Saturday's feature race, the Tingle Creek.

PETER CASEY was delighted with Jack The Bus after his comeback run in the Troytown Chase at Navan on Sunday.

The 11-year-old won the valuable handicap last season but had been off the track since. He ended up finishing seventh and will now run in the Paddy Power Handicap at Leopardstown over Christmas.

“He ran a great race. We'll probably head to Leopardstown with him,” said Casey.

Flemenstar will be stepped up in class next time out after his easy victory at Navan. Casey's exciting six-year-old will head to Leopardstown's big Christmas meeting, although for which race it has yet to be decided.

Casey said: “I don't know where we are going, probably Leopardstown at Christmas.”


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