Entries are out for the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle, the Grade 1 Deloitte Novice Hurdle and the Grade 1 Dr P.J. Moriarty Novice Chase which will be run on Sunday 12th February (Hennessy Gold Cup Day).
Minsk could start off his hurdling career at Leopardstown next month in the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle. The four-year-old has been absent since he ran out an impressive winner of the Cesarewitch at The Curragh last October, but his trainer Dessie Hughes reports the son of Dalakhani to be in great shape.
He said: “I am very happy with him and he could go to Leopardstown for the Grade 1 there next month and if he needs another week or so, there is a Grade 3 at Fairyhouse on the 25th February. I’ve been delighted with him and he has been in fabulous form.”
Tom George has made a tentative entry for Baby Mix, who is as low as 6/1 for the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham.
He said: “I am not sure where he’ll go – he is in at Cheltenham at the weekend, so we’ll see. It is a speculative entry really.”
The unbeaten Ut De Sivola could represent Willie Mullins in that contest, while the champion trainer holds a very strong hand in the Grade 1 Deloitte Novice hurdle and is responsible for seven of the 24 entries.
The improving Lord Windermere looks set to take on some of the best novice hurdlers around in that event. His trainer Jim Culloty said: “He has had a nice break since he beat Dylan Ross at Punchestown and the plan is that he’ll run at Leopardstown. He is in super form and is the type of horse that I think will continue to improve and he has come on a nice bit since his last run. I am looking forward to it and he will be my first runner in a Grade 1.”
The Philip Fenton-trained Last Instalment could put his unbeaten record over fences on the line in the Grade 1 Dr P.J Moriarty Novice Chase. The exciting seven-year-old handled better ground when he ran out a clear cut winner of the Fort Leney Novice Chase at this venue last month.