Cromwell hopeful 'Espoir' can conquer field
Gavin Cromwell is hopeful Espoir D'Allen can keep his unbeaten record intact in the Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown.
The French bumper winner has won all three starts over hurdles since arriving at Cromwell's Co Meath yard, most recently carrying the colours of leading owner JP McManus to an impressive victory in Grade Three company at Fairyhouse.
The son of Voix Du Nord must concede weight all round in this Grade Two contest, but will be a red-hot favourite to add to his tally under Mark Walsh.
Cromwell said: "He seems in good order order and we've been happy with him since Fairyhouse.
"Mitchouka is second-favourite and we've beaten him. He's getting a few pounds of his this time, but hopefully our horse will be good enough to continue his winning ways.
"I don't think the ground will matter to him either way."
Fairyhouse runner-up Mitchouka is one of two runners for Gordon Elliott and Gigginstown House Stud along with French recruit Farclas, who makes his National Hunt bow.
Joseph O'Brien's dual winner Grey Waters and the Charles O'Brien-trained Mastermind, a winner at Gowran Park a month ago, also feature in an eight-strong field.