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Texas Jack going for Gold

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Texas Jack (left) ridden by Paul Carberry

Texas Jack (left) ridden by Paul Carberry

SPORTSFILE

Texas Jack (left) ridden by Paul Carberry

Noel Meade is to give Texas Jack the chance to deliver him a first Hennessy Gold Cup, despite the rain-sodden conditions at Leopardstown.

Today's scheduled Clonmel card has been rescheduled for next Wednesday after it fell to waterlogging, though Nessa Joyce of Leopardstown says that she is "not worried" about Sunday's marquee spread meeting a similar fate.

After 15mm of rain fell overnight, up to yesterday a total of 46mm had been recorded at the Foxrock venue since Friday, with the official going now predominantly described as heavy.

"We would be able to race today – it wouldn't be pretty, but we would race," Joyce said yesterday. "We'll have to see what Friday night brings as there is another band of rain due. The track has taken everything which has been thrown at it so far and I'm confident that we'll be okay. I'm genuinely not worried."

Texas Jack, nosed out by Boston Bob in the meeting's novice chase a year ago having previously won a Grade Two at Lord Windermere's expense, excelled in beating Baily Green and the long-absent Last Instalment in last month's Kinloch Brae at Thurles. All of those runs came over his regular two-and-a-half-mile trip, with the two Leopardstown races taking place on deep ground.

"He definitely runs. I don't know if he'll stay the trip, but we are going to try anyway," Meade said of the eight-year-old, a well-beaten third to Back In Focus in a Grade One at the track on his only previous stab at three miles. Texas Jack is a 12/1 shot for the Grade One, with Tidal Bay the big market mover yesterday. Paul Nicholls' veteran is now second favourite behind First Lieutenant after being cut to 3/1 from a top price of 5/1.

Willie Mullins has confirmed that Smashing will tackle Saturday's Betfair Hurdle at Newbury. A €130,000 summer purchase after winning just one of its 14 French outings, the Alan Potts-owned five-year-old has looked progressive in winning at Fairyhouse and Limerick.

Smashing, 12/1 for the prestigious £152,500 handicap, is currently set to carry 11st 3lb.

Meanwhile, there are six Irish-trained runners at Meydan today, including Mick Halford's recent Shane Foley-ridden course winner Certerach. Dubai regular Halford has three on duty in all, with David Marnane, Ger Lyons and Patrick Prendergast also represented.

Today's scheduled Clonmel fixture has been postponed to next Wednesday.

Irish Independent