McAuley hoping Kerosin can light up his training comeback
Should today's Down Royal card get the go-ahead after a morning inspection due to the forecasted sub-zero temperatures, James McAuley will set off north from his Gormanstown base as he bids to put his name back on the map.
Having been out of the training fold for nearly six years, McAuley is getting back into the swing of things and his German-bred seven-year-old KEROSIN will be out to defy a 871-day lay-off in the maiden hurdle (2.45).
Last seen when seventh in the Group Two Qatar Prix Foy in Longchamp, the Listed winner was bought from Godolphin in September and McAuley has watched him impress in his two schooling races at Dundalk as well as in a schooling hurdle at Fairyhouse.
McAuley, who mixes training horses with his afternoon work in the Viking Lodge Hotel on Merchants Quay, is looking forward to the challenge.
"We have eight or nine horses we got from with Darley ratings of 90 or above and this is the first of them to get me started over jumps again," McAuley, who previously won a Grade Three Chase at Thurles, he said.
"He's never missed a day since we got him and he seems to still show plenty of ability and you'd expect him to be very competitive.
"The handicapper won't drop him below 100 on the Flat so his days on the Flat are numbered. He jumps well, everything he does he does it easy so we're looking forward to it."
preference Elsewhere on a seven-race card, the opening novice chase (1.05) is a quality affair with all four runners holding a chance but preference is for the Willie Mullins-trained BRAVISSIMO, which has conditions in his favour under Paul Townend.
Meanwhile, Galway trainer Pat Kelly can do no wrong these days and he sent out another winner with Davy Russell steering home Eagle Lion in yesterday's maiden hurdle at Punchestown.
Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy continued their fine form with a 33/1 treble via Goodthynemilan, Sir Carno and Poormans Hill.