Saturday 21 September 2019

Welcome rain sees entries flood in for Naas meeting

Trainer Willie Mullins. Photo: PA
Trainer Willie Mullins. Photo: PA

Thomas Kelly

The arrival of rain at last has been a welcome boost to many jumps trainers and has encouraged them to declare a bumper 131 runners - plus reserves - for today's seven-race card at Naas.

Champion trainer Willie Mullins has a number of very interesting contenders, including Face The Facts in the opening 2019 Naas Membership Maiden Hurdle.

The Nathaniel gelding was a useful stayer on the Flat with John Gosden, winning a two-mile Listed race at Newmarket before being snapped up by current connections for 100,000 guineas.

The four-year-old has been given time to settle into life at Closutton and this 2m3f trip on a galloping track should prove ideal.

Paul Townend is also on board Duc Des Genievres in the Kildare Now Beginners Chase.

The French-bred grey failed to win in five starts over hurdles for Mullins last term but kept top-class company and was placed twice in Grade One events.

Former stable companion Carter McKay, now in the care of Gordon Elliott, is among his 17 rivals - which also include Ex Patriot and A Plus Tard.

Ruby Walsh has just the one ride but could well be on the mark with Relegate in the Clinton Higgins Chartered Accountants Mares Maiden Hurdle.

The Flemensfirth mare was a top-class bumper performer last season, winning three times - including the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival.

She was unfortunate not to make a winning start over hurdles at Punchestown last month when hampered after the last by the subsequently demoted Cuneo.

Irish Independent

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