Saturday 15 December 2018

Arcenfete primed for De Bromhead

Trainer Gordon Elliott. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Trainer Gordon Elliott. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile Sportsdesk

Henry de Bromhead is looking forward to unleashing Arcenfete on an Irish racecourse for the first time in the Limestone Lad Hurdle at Naas today.

The Gigginstown House Stud-owned six-year-old was a multiple winner in France, scoring both on the Flat and over hurdles. He received an entry in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival only recently and De Bromhead expects to learn plenty about his potential aspirations by running in this Grade Three contest.

"The Limestone Lad Hurdle is the first real opportunity for Arcenfete as he's not a novice and doesn't have a handicap mark, so we are looking forward to getting him started," he said. "His form would suggest he seems OK on the ground, but it is his first run for nearly two years so we'll just see how he gets on and we should learn more after Sunday."

The Gigginstown silks are also carried by the Gordon Elliott-trained Duca De Thaix, which concedes weight all round after winning a Grade Three at Limerick over the festive period. Elliott also saddles Destin D'ajonc, while the Willie Mullins-trained pair of Dolciano Dici and Sandsend and Jessica Harrington's high-class mare Forge Meadow also feature in an eight-strong field.

The other Grade Three prize on offer is the Woodlands Park 100 Club Novice Chase. Elliott's Jury Duty sets the standard having won a Grade Two at Punchestown before chasing home stablemate Shattered Love in the Grade One Neville Hotels Novice Chase at Leopardstown. He is joined by stable companion Mossback. "He ran well at Leopardstown and the Naas race looks a suitable place to go with him now," said Elliott of Jury Duty. "He's a horse that has improved throughout the season and the trip and the ground shouldn't be an issue for him, so hopefully he'll give a good account of himself again."

Elliott's title rival and reigning champion Mullins relies on recent Cork scorer Livelovelaugh. Noel Meade's Moulin A Vent is fitted with blinkers for the first time and De Danu's Bach, trained by Nigel Slevin, will be a big outsider.

The meeting at Naas will also mark the official opening of the racecourse's new feature building, which will be known as 'The Circle'. The innovative cylindrical design, located between the parade ring and grandstand, allows for greater vantage points. The ground floor of the building, 'The Circle Bar', is open to all racegoers and the Owners & Trainers Lounge is located on the first floor.

Today's schedule meeting at Fontwell, meanwhile, was abandoned after officials inspected the course yesterday morning. The track was reported to be unfit for action after a week of heavy rainfall, which continued into yesterday.

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