Friday 13 December 2019

Bitofapuzzle set Thurles target by Harry Fry

Bitofapuzzle is being lined up for a trip to Ireland later this month for a shot at the Ocovango Coolmore National Hunt Sires EBF Mares Novice Chase at Thurles.

Trainer Harry Fry is plotting a crack at the Grade Two prize on January 14 with the lightly-raced eight-year-old after she impressed in her debut victory over fences at Exeter last month.

The seven-times race winner's previous visit to Ireland last April saw her claim her biggest success to date when capturing a Grade One mares' novices' hurdle at Fairyhouse.

Fry said: "Bitofapuzzle came out of her race at Exeter very well. As long as the weather doesn't interrupt, she will go to Thurles for the Grade Two mares novices' chase on the 14th.

"You could not have asked for any more from her at Exeter. She jumped really well and literally galloped her rivals into the ground.

"Noel Fehily couldn't believe how far clear she was halfway down the side of the course. Hopefully this is the start of an exciting career over fences for her."

Fry has pencilled in the Altcar Novices' Chase at Haydock later this month as the next port of call for Activial.

The seven-year-old struck at the second time of asking over fences at Exeter on New Year's Day having finished second at Newbury on his chasing debut.

With the grey now a winner over the larger obstacles, the Seaborough handler is keen to step him back up in class for a tilt at the Grade Two contest on January 23.

He said: "We pitched him in a Grade Two first time out over fences and he ran well but he was a little bit novicey.

"The idea of going to Exeter was to give him more experience and get his head back in front and it was a case of mission accomplished.

"His jumping still needs tidying up but there was a definite improvement. I am keen to get as many runs as possible into him and the plan is now to go to Haydock for the Grade Two on the 23rd.

"He is still a work in progress, but hopefully the more runs he has, the more confident he will get."

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, tickets to Ireland's against Scotland in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

PA Media

The Left Wing: John Cooney on Ulster's European run and bouncing back from World Cup disappointment

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport