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Weld's Rite lined up for Leopardstown debut

Dermot Weld's exciting prospect Rite Of Passage could make a belated hurdling debut at Leopardstown towards the end of the month.

The chestnut was third to Dunguib when 5/2 favourite for the Cheltenham Champion Bumper and returned to the Flat in the autumn to run out an easy winner of the Leopardstown November Handicap. Weld had lined him up to start off jumping at the Dublin course over the Christmas period but he cut himself when he banged his head in the horsebox on his way to the races.

"He's OK, in good form now, and he will probably go to Leopardstown in two weeks' time -- that's the plan anyway," said Weld.

Rite Of Passage disputes third favouritism at odds of around 16-1 for the williamhill.com Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.