You are viewing the content for Thursday 16 February 2006

Macs Joy all the rage for Gowran

THE Jessica Harrington-trained Macs Joy has been backed without exclusion for the Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran Park on Saturday.

Despite dual champion hurdler Hardy Eustace being a possible rival, the seven-year-old has been supported from an opening price of 6-4 to a prohibitive 4-9 with Cashmans.

The Cork firm are also offering a special bet on Hardy Eustace, who can be backed at 5-2 with a run.

Sadlers Wings, will head straight to Cheltenham for a tilt at the Smurfit Champion Hurdle on March 14.

Trainer Willie Mullins had been considering this weekend’s Red Mills Trial at Gowran Park but decided not to enter the eight-year-old, who finished a promising fourth in last month’s AIG Europe Irish Champion Hurdle.

"I didn’t want to run him on Saturday as he’s going to have a busy second-half season," said Mullins.

Red Mills Trial Hurdle, Cashmans bet: 4-9 Macs Joy (from 4-5), 4-1 Essex, 6-1 Asian Maze, 16-1 Escrea, Ground Ball, Sky’s The Limit, 33-1 McGruders Cross, 80-1 Tolpuddle

Special Bet: 5-2 Hardy Eustace (with a run).

Meanwhile, Racing Demon is reported to be "sparkling" as connections count down the days to next month’s Cheltenham Festival.

Henrietta Knight’s six-year-old is disputing favouritism with Accordion Etoile in the Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy after winning each of his three starts over fences.

Racing Demon completed his build-up with a comfortable success at Exeter on Sunday and Terry Biddlecombe, Knight’s husband and assistant, expects him to relish the hurly-burly of the Festival.

"He’s sparkling. I’m very happy with him," he said.

"He can do nothing else but win. He just sort of hit the wing at the fourth-last but otherwise he’s done nothing wrong.

"He’s won on the bridle, he’s come back and you wouldn’t know he’s had a race.

"It’s straight to Cheltenham now and the better the gallop, the better he will be."

Knight is also set to be represented at the Festival by Impek, a leading challenger for the two-mile-five-furlong Ryanair Chase.

The 10-year-old won twice earlier in the season and was last seen finishing third in the King George VI Chase at Sandown.

Biddlecombe added: "It will also be straight to Cheltenham with him. He’s had a hard season, about four or fives runs, but he’s done nothing wrong and ran well in the King George."