Sunday 22 April 2018

Total Recall heads Mullins' Thyestes bid

Trainer Willie Mullins. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Trainer Willie Mullins. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Willie Mullins has unveiled a six-strong team - headed by classy pair Total Recall and Acapella Bourgeois - for the Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase at Gowran Park on this day fortnight.

The champion trainer has also entered Pleasant Company, Polidam, Arbre De Vie and Isleofhopendreams as he goes in search of his seventh win in the race and his first since Djakadam prevailed under top-weight in 2015.

There is a total of 37 horses entered for the €100,000 event, with Gordon Elliott responsible for 13 of them. Third in the race in 2016 and runner-up to Champagne West last year, Ucello Conti heads Elliott's squad which includes three promising novices in Sutton Manor, Dounikos and Monbeg Notorious.

Noel Meade has put four horses in the race including Bonny Kate, third last year, while Mouse Morris has three possibles headed by Alpha Des Obeaux which came home sixth behind Road To Respect in the Grade One Leopardstown Christmas Chase last month.

Set to top the weights is last year's hero Champagne West, the sole entry from trainer Henry de Bromhead. The full list of weights for the Gowran showpiece will be unveiled on Monday.

Meanwhile, owner Nick Peacock has paid tribute to his retiring 2015 Champion Hurdle runner-up Arctic Fire.

A winner on the Flat in France, the horse joined Mullins as a four-year-old and won five of his 19 starts over jumps including the 2015 Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse and the Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle at Cheltenham last March.

The son of Soldier Hollow chased home stablemate Faugheen in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham three years ago. Despite achieving a rating pushing 170, Peacock feels injuries prevented his charge reaching his full potential.

"He's been a wonderful horse and it's a shame his career was curtailed by injury," said the owner. "He gave us our second win in the County Hurdle after Wicklow Brave, who won it a couple of years earlier. He won a Grade One in the Hatton's Grace and if Faugheen wasn't there, he'd have won a Champion Hurdle."

Peacock still hopes to be represented in this year's Champion Hurdle with Wicklow Brave which has not been seen since finishing down the field in the Melbourne Cup in November, but has been pencilled in for a return to the Cotswolds.

Peacock added: "He had a nice holiday after the Melbourne Cup, but he's back in work now and hopefully we might get him back for Cheltenham. In the year we're in, if everything went right, I think he could be there or thereabouts in the Champion Hurdle."

 

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