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Elliott targets return for Jessies Dream

GORDON ELLIOTT'S exciting chaser Jessies Dream is likely to make his seasonal return in either the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown or the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park.

The nine-year-old -- currently a best priced 25/1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup -- won the Drinmore Novice Chase for owner David Johnson last season and was only narrowly beaten by compatriot Bostons Angel in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham.

He has not been seen since but Elliott remains hopeful he will return to Prestbury Park for a tilt at the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.

"He's in good form and looks in good shape, so hopefully he'll be ready to run soon," said Elliott. "He'll either go for the Hennessy or the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park for his first run back, and that will tell us a lot more."

Elliott's smart novice hurdler Mount Benbulben, owned by Barry Connell, is set to head to Cheltenham without another run.

After winning in impressive fashion twice, the gelding suffered an odds-on reverse in Grade One company last time, but his trainer feels there were genuine excuses.

"We found he had a few back problems after his last run and he came back very stiff, but he's fine now," the trainer explained. "He could go straight to Cheltenham for the Albert Bartlett without having another run."

Arthur Moore has confirmed What A Charm to be on target for the Boylesports.com Handicap Hurdle at Leopardstown on January 28.

The fiercely competitive contest has attracted a total of 47 entries for this year's renewal, with Boylesports offering a €100,000 bonus for any horse which can land this prize and follow up at the Cheltenham Festival.

What A Charm is already a Festival winner, having landed last season's Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle, and is 25/1 with the sponsors. "Leopardstown might be a bit sharp for her," said Moore, "but the softer the ground the better for her. She ran well there the last day behind Our Girl Salley.

"There isn't a great deal coming up for her, so we'll let her take her chance and hopefully she will get in with a nice weight on her back."

Champion trainer Willie Mullins has seven entries, including Galway Plate winner Blazing Tempo, which could bid to exploit her lower mark over hurdles.

The sponsors make John Kiely's Reizovic the market leader at 6/1, with Olofi from the Tom George yard best of the British hopes at 14s.

Boylesports.com Hurdle, sponsors bet: 6/1 Reizovic, 7/1 Scottish Boogie, 12/1 Askthemaster, 14/1 Make A Track, Olofi, 16/1 Cass Bligh, Citizenship, 20/1 bar.

Irish Independent