Friday 24 November 2017

Article leads way at Leopardstown

Edward O'Grady's Staying Article heads a field of 34 at the confirmation stage for the Hurdle at Leopardstown on Saturday.

Willie Mullins is mob-handed with five entries -- though Blazing Tempo is unlikely to take her chance following her victory in the Normans Grove Chase at Fairyhouse on Sunday.

Leading fancies include the ante-post favourite Scottish Boogie, trained by Charles Byrnes, Gordon Elliott's Plan A, Adrian Murray's Cass Bligh and the Jessica Harrington-trained Citizenship.

Robert Tyner reports Askthemaster ready to return to the fray after winning a 12-runner handicap hurdle over two and a quarter miles at the Dublin track on St Stephen's Day.

"He's in good order," Tyner said. "He did a grand job the last day. It was his first run back and it will have put him spot-on for Saturday."

Tom George has withdrawn Olofi, as expected, leaving Pat Murphy's Temlett as the only remaining entry from across the Irish Sea.

Colm Murphy would like to see plenty of rain to tempt him to run Voler La Vedette against Hurricane Fly in the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday.

Should the ground not ease, Murphy will probably avoid taking on last season's Irish and Cheltenham Champion Hurdle winner and give his star mare an outing in the John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran on Thursday instead.

"A lot will depend on the ground. It's good ground at Leopardstown at the moment. We'll want to get a bit of rain if we are going to take him on," the Co Wexford trainer said. "We'll see what the weather does during the week. If she doesn't go on Sunday I'd imagine we'll take the engagement on Thursday. We want a good cut in the ground to be taking on Hurricane Fly."

Paul Carberry will be back in time for the Cheltenham Festival after breaking his collar bone in a skiing accident last week.

Noel Meade's stable jockey is set for between four to six weeks on the sidelines. But with Cheltenham still seven weeks away, he has a bit of breathing space.

Theresa O'Toole, acting as Carberry's agent while her husband, Ciaran, is on holiday, said: "He rang me on Thursday to tell me. It's awful luck. He'll be out for four to six weeks, but he'll be back flying by the time Cheltenham comes around. It's rotten luck, but he's used to bouncing back."

Irish Independent

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