Sunday 19 November 2017

Bog Warrior set for Naas return

Bog Warrior is likely to return to competitive action in the BBA Ireland Limited Opera Hat Novice Chase at Naas on Saturday.

Tony Martin's eight-year-old has form that stands up to the closest scrutiny having beaten subsequent Arkle winner Flemenstar on his chasing debut at Navan before landing the Grade One Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse.

A heavy fall suffered at Leopardstown over Christmas has slightly held up his season, but Martin is excited about seeing him return to the track this weekend.

"Hopefully, we'll get him out on Saturday," Martin said. "He seems very well and I'm very pleased with him.

"He got hit by our other horse behind him (Gift Of Dgab), which galloped into him and got brought down. He got a blow to his head. We went easy with him for a couple of weeks and he seems perfect now. He's always shown us he's a good horse."

Bog Warrior holds entries in all the major novice prizes at next month's Cheltenham Festival, but Martin is not making any concrete decisions about targets until after his run on Saturday.

Fenton upbeat over Instalment prospects

Last Instalment will put his unbeaten record over fences on the line in Sunday's Dr PJ Moriarty Novice at Leopardstown.

Philip Fenton's seven-year-old has barely come off the bridle on each of his three starts this season, completing the hat-trick with a brilliant Grade One-winning performance at Leopardstown over Christmas.

Fenton said: "We've been happy with him since he ran at Christmas. The ground was fairly good the last day and I see that it has dried out a bit at Leopardstown over the last few days, but that isn't a worry. He seems to be in great shape."

Lambro and Call The Police have been given an entry for champion trainer Willie Mullins, with Shot From The Hip a major contender for Edward O'Grady.

Ut De Sivola ready

to step up in class

Willie Mullins' Ut De Sivola looks poised to take the step up to Grade One class in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown.

The French import has made swift progress for his new trainer, taking a maiden hurdle at Clonmel and a Grade Three at Punchestown and looks one of the leading Irish contenders for the Triumph Hurdle at present.

Mullins has also entered Darroun, Midnight Oil, Shamar and Gorgeous Sixty in a contest which has attracted four possible British contenders.

John Ferguson's Asaid could be joined by Noel Quinlan's Crafty Roberto and two from John Quinn's yard in useful sorts Royal Bonsai and Countrywide Flame.

Edward O'Grady's Sportsmaster and Dermot Weld's Hisaabaat are others with claims. Also among the 17 entries are two for Gordon Elliott -- His Excellency and Shadowcatcher.

Irish Independent

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