Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 18 November 2017

Cooper to make happy return on Canaly

Bryan Cooper, who had a sensational last season, returns in search of a belated success
Bryan Cooper, who had a sensational last season, returns in search of a belated success
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

FOUR months after breaking his leg at Down Royal, Bryan Cooper returns to competitive action with one ride on Canaly for his boss Dessie Hughes at Kilbeggan.

Following a sensational last season that saw Cooper partner five major winners at the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals, the stylish 21-year-old returns in search of a belated first success of the current campaign in the card's conditions hurdle.

From the outset, he had earmarked the Listowel Harvest Festival later in the month as a comeback target, so his return to full fitness is marginally ahead of schedule.

Moreover, if first-time visors have the desired effect on Canaly, Cooper won't have long to wait to get off the mark. The top-rated of the nine runners, Hughes' eight-year-old made a lifeless enough seasonal bow over fences at Galway.

He reverts to the smaller obstacles now for a first time since scoring at Punchestown in December and the suspicion is that the application of head gear, a step up to three miles and the benefit of that recent run can bring about the required improvement.

Hughes' Dale Street is also napped to land the beginners' chase under Mick Darcy. When the previously frustrating gelding finally broke his duck over flights at Limerick in July, Darcy did the steering and he was also the man up top when Dale Street ran a hugely encouraging second to Heaney on his chase debut at Ballinrobe last month.

Given the way that his effort flattened out late on that day, and that his hurdle triumph came over today's two-and-a-half-mile trip, the drop from two miles and six furlongs should suit.

Most of the selection's opposition are moderate, with Alexander Leaving one of the most interesting after a solid handicap hurdle win at Gowran Park in June.

In the maiden hurdle, Fantasy King can build on the promise of his recent second to Curley Bill at Cork for Charles O'Brien and Andrew McNamara, while Davy Condon could secure wins for Gordon Elliott and Noel Meade.

Condon will take plenty of beating on Elliott's consistent Formal Bid in the handicap hurdle, with Meade's Pat Garrett out to atone for his heavy fall two out at Killarney in the handicap chase.

Having looked in command on that occasion, Pat Garrett is trusted to confirm his appeal as an unexposed and improving sort in this slightly better contest.

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