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Mouse Morris hoping to make noise at Christmas

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French Dynamite, with Darragh O'Keeffe up, jumps the last on their way to winning the BetVictor Loyalty Club Beginners Steeplechase at the Punchestown Winter Festival last weekend. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

French Dynamite, with Darragh O'Keeffe up, jumps the last on their way to winning the BetVictor Loyalty Club Beginners Steeplechase at the Punchestown Winter Festival last weekend. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

French Dynamite, with Darragh O'Keeffe up, jumps the last on their way to winning the BetVictor Loyalty Club Beginners Steeplechase at the Punchestown Winter Festival last weekend. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Mouse Morris has his eyes fixed on Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting for French Dynamite with the Grade One Neville Hotels Novice Chase chosen as the “long-term aim” for the exciting six-year-old.

Having shown lots of class over hurdles, French Dynamite got off the mark over fences at the second time of asking with an exemplary jumping display at Punchestown last Saturday leaving Morris with little choice but to step him up significantly in class sooner rather than later. “He’s fine. He’s in good fettle. I don’t know where I go next with him. I might have to step him up in grade as the programme here is not conducive to a horse like him,” Morris said.

“I’d say any trip from two and a half miles to three is fine for him. We’ll see how he goes on. The three-mile novice chase at Leopardstown over Christmas will be the long-term aim.”

The Gold Cup-winning trainer also has another nice chasing prospect on his hands in the shape of Gentlemansgame – the progressive grey is also owned by Robcour – but the five-year-old is not expected to make his fencing bow this side of Christmas.

“He’s chipping away, but he’s behind the others fitness-wise. He’ll start off in a beginners’ chase over two and a half miles. He’ll get three miles as well and he might have to clash with French Dynamite at some stage. It’s a good headache to have. He’ll be ready around Christmas time,” the Tipperary trainer said.

Meanwhile, Jessica Harrington bids to land the €625,000 Bahrain International Trophy tomorrow with Cadillac flying the Irish colours in the Group Three contest at Sakhir.

Shane Foley partners the Lope De Vega colt once again but he will have to improve considerably from two recent efforts when coming up well short in the Saratoga Derby after making the trip to the US before fading late on in the Group Two Prix Dollar at Longchamp last month.

A star-studded field also includes seven British representatives with the high-flying Charlie Appleby out to maintain his hot streak via four-time Group One winner Barney Roy while stable jockey William Buick also partners the red-hot favourite Zakouski for the Newmarket trainer.

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